HomeNewsEko DisCo Defies Govt’s Power Regulator NERC, Restores Sacked CEO Sanda

Eko DisCo Defies Govt’s Power Regulator NERC, Restores Sacked CEO Sanda

The crisis rocking Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has taken a dramatic twist, with its board cancelling the purported termination of the appointment of its Managing Director/Chief Executive, Dr. Tinuade Sanda.

A sack letter that earlier announced the removal of Sanda from her position as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, was signed by the company’s Chairman, Dere Otubu, and hinged the action on a directive from the industry regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

A copy of the letter from NERC titled, “Alleged Ghost Workers In Eko Electricity Distribution Company – Call For Investigation,” instructed the distribution company to “ensure all existing WPG secondees involved in the loss of revenue to EKEDC in this matter are withdrawn back to WPG.”

West Power & Gas Limited (WPG) is the core investor in Eko DisCo.

However, the Director, Chairman Legal and Regulatory Committee of EKEDC, Babor Egeregor, in a statement on Tuesday described the order as unambiguous, incapable of, and unyielding to plural interpretations.

He said there was nowhere in the order where NERC requested the removal of any staffer either seconded to or hired by EKEDC except those connected to the alleged fraud and negligence i.e Wola Joseph Condotti, Sheri Adegbenro, and Aik Alenkhe.

The statement reads, “It has come to my notice that by a letter dated 26th of March 2024, the Chairman of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Mr. Dere Otubu purportedly terminated the Contract of Employment of Dr. Tinuade Sanda, the MD/CEO of EKEDC, allegedly in compliance with Orders/Directives issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

“The said Order of the NERC, herein displayed, are unambiguous, incapable of, and unyielding to plural interpretations. There was nowhere in the Order where NERC requested the removal of any staff either seconded to or hired by EKEDC EXCEPT those connected to the alleged fraud and negligence.

“In fact, NERC’s directives were issued to compel the Board of EKEDC, following picketing by the union and unrelenting Staff protests, to act appropriately in the face of a determined position of a majority of the Board members to cover up the alleged use of ghost workers together with the alleged fraud and protect Wola Joseph Condotti especially.

“Mr. Dere Otubu’s letter, therefore, was done in bad faith and in vengeful revenge against the MD/CEO for escalating the alleged fraud and issuing queries against one of his protégés, whom he has desperately swore to protect by all means. As a matter of fact, the Acting DG of the BPE, representing the government on the Board of EKEDC, vehemently rejected the attempt to cover up the alleged crime and insisted on compliance with the punishment prescribed in the Conditions of Service.

“Rather than comply with the Orders of NERC, a recourse to subterfuge was hatched with the purported termination and the publication of different misleading headlines such as “FG Sacks MD of EKEDC”, “Tinuade Sanda relieved of her position as MD, Eko Distribution Company”. There are no doubts about a deliberate agenda and unconcealed mischief to misread the Orders of the NERC to malign Dr. Sanda’s reputation for daring to escalate and issue queries to the suspects for alleged fraud through the use of ghost workers for three years, and continuous payment of salaries to exited staffs despite personally receiving their resignation letters.

“Similar queries were issued to Sheri Adegbenro, the Chief Audit and Compliance Officer and Aik Alenkhe, the Chief Human Resources Officers respectively for their failure and gross negligence to audit and detect fraudulent payments on pay roll for over 3 years.

“We are also aware of a purported press release appointing Mrs. Rekiat Momoh as the Acting MD/CEO.

“The Board of EKEDC, on which I sit has neither met nor decided on the purported appointment of Mrs. Rekiah Momoh as Acting MD/CEO, except Mr. Otubu and his close circle of colleagues have transformed themselves into ‘The Board.’ I and all well-meaning members of the EKEDC Board, I believe, should vehemently distance themselves from this contrivance.

“The Board is not a one man show, and matters are to be collectively deliberated on and approved by Board members. Mrs Momoh is the Chief Commercial Officer of EKEDC and remains so.

“Mr. Otubu and his co-travellers have chosen to cherry pick the exhaustive interaction with NERC where one of the Commissioners wondered why no one was yet to be tried or in prison for these grievous allegations and how to recover lost funds part owned by the Federal Government. They are more focused on settling scores with our performance driven MD/CEO, Mrs. Tinu Sanda

“At EKEDC, we are known for due process and legality, and anything that would take away from our avowed commitment to due process and corporate governance would be resisted.

“Therefore, let it be known that Dr. Tinuade Sanda remains the MD/CEO of Eko Electricity Distribution Company and has since her assumption of office as the MD/CEO, turned EKEDC around for good, with very great milestones and achievements which every sector player recognises. She made EKEDC the number one distribution company in Nigeria.

“The Investors, Board, and Management of EKEDC believe firmly in her leadership and look forward to many more record setting and breaking moments. This is for the information of the general public and all NESI stakeholders.”


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