Barely 61 days to his retirement, the Board of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), may have forced it's else while chairman, Kolapo Lawson to step aside, following reports of breach of corporate governance in the bank under his leadership.
“As the head of such a respected global institution, I must act when there is even the slightest perception that the interests of that institution might be at risk. I therefore step aside as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational,” he declared.
ITRealms confirmed that Lawson is due for retirement by December 31, 2013 and has handed over to André Siaka as interim chairman with immediate effect.
Official statement to this effect from Ecobank quoted Mr. Lawson as confirming that the last few months have seen huge pressure on the organisation, and on him personally over allegations of mismanagement leveled against him to the Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“These have culminated in allegations, which are untrue, made to the Nigerian SEC on issues of corporate governance. During this time, I led constructive discussions on the need for independent review of these allegations. The board has now taken the necessary decisions to appoint independent parties who, I am confident will investigate these allegations and review our corporate governance with the utmost professionalism. In order to give total credibility to these reviews, I have decided it would not be appropriate for me to be the person leading this process. The Board has assured me of its commitment to seeing these investigations through and I will continue to monitor this as an interested party,” he said.
Lawson also lamented that current media speculations cast over the institution, hence, he accepted to take the necessary steps to bring this to an end.
In his acceptance remarks on behalf of the Board, Mr. Siaka described Kolapo Lawson as a loyal servant of Ecobank for many years, who has played a major part in shaping the successful organization.“His family is inseparable from Ecobank and Kolapo’s contribution to Ecobank is second to none: over twenty years, as a director of Ecobank Nigeria, of Ecobank Togo and of ETI, he has made a truly outstanding contribution to this great pan-African company. He has our very sincere thanks for all of his hard work and commitment, his leadership and his good company,” Siaka said.
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Pix: Kolapo Lawson, ousted chairman of Ecobank