Cyril Ilok, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, has quit one month after female employees in the firm accused him of using his position to cover up sexual harassment petitions.
The Telecom giant’s Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, Adekunle Adebiyi, was accused of sexual harassment and fraudulent transactions.
Female employees under an umbrella name, ‘The Anonymous Whistle Blowers’ made this claim in an email sent to MTN Group’s General Manager, Forensic Services, Nerisha Singh, between April 2021 and February 2022.
It was alleged that Adebiyi targets new MTN Nigeria female employees for sexual affairs, and the workers are too scared to report to the Human Resources over fear of losing their jobs.
Ilok was mentioned as one of the senior directors using his position to block staff petitions.
“Cyril Ilok, head of forensics, is his womanising and drinking partner, who will never allow all the petitions from the staff to go through investigations,” the statement said.
Adebiyi has since resigned from his position and left the company, however, while Ilok has submitted his resignation, he won’t vacate his position until September 30, 2022.
In the letter announcing his resignation on Wednesday to the capital market authority, NGX, MTN Nigeria didn’t state reason for his exit, but the firm in March, had said it will investigate the claims of the female employees against the mentioned individuals, adding that much evidence wasn’t included in the email.
Ilok spent 19years at the telecom firm. He joined MTN Nigeria on November 4, 2002, as a Senior Internal Auditor. His successor is yet to be announced.
In a series of emails and documents sent to MTN Group’s headquarters in South Africa between April 2021 and February 2022, some female employees of telecommunications company, who hid their identities and only described themselves as ‘The Anonymous Whistle Blowers’, accused Adebiyi of being a sexual predator
Female employees of MTN Nigeria accuse Chief Sales & Distribution Officer, Adekunle Adebiyi of sexual harassment
MTN Nigeria’s Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, Adekunle Adebiyi, has been accused of repeated sexual harassment and other malfeasance by certain female employees of the firm.
It was reported that the Female employees, who hid their identities and only identified themselves as ‘The Anonymous Whistle Blowers,’ accused Adebiyi of being a sexual predator who used his position in the company to sleep with young female employees in a series of emails and documents sent to MTN Group’s headquarters in South Africa between April 2021 and February 2022.
They further accused him of threatening to fire such ladies if they did not comply with his requests.
The disgruntled employees also claimed that Adekunle Adebiyi had been using his position to place relatives and friends in critical positions at the telecommunications company, despite the fact that they lacked the necessary educational qualifications and expertise.
The whistleblowers also accused the Chief Sales and Distribution Officer of inflating contracts, accepting payments, and fabricating phony sales numbers in order to fool management and preserve his desired position.
Despite his severe misconducts and acts of corruption and sabotage against MTN Group, Adekunle Adebiyi had the full support of MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer Karl Toriola and other key executives, according to the employees.
In some of the emails sent to Nerisha Singh, General Manager, Forensic Services, of MTN Group, by ‘The Anonymous Whistle Blowers’, the aggrieved employees said, “We are writing because the man, Adekunle Adebiyi, who heads sales, is a dangerous threat to your company. We wish men like Adekunle Adebiyi will not destroy MTN Nigeria.
You left a monster and sexual predator to continue in office but after one year, we can no longer be silenced by his continued intimidation.
“Many of us became victims of his boastful abuses and direct punishments. Three persons resigned in S&D through his intimidations and threats. Kumar Abubakar, a resourceful Senior Manager, was fired by him and Amina, his GM in the North, on trumped-up charges because Kumar knows all their fake and forged gross connections, numbers and sales figures. They know he would expose them to forensics.
“Sales conferences are always his grounds for his sexual escapades where he uses his front and power to lure young innocent MTNNers levels 1, 2, 3, vulnerable girls into sex.
“Your sexual harassment policy is not protecting levels 1, 2 or 3 or young girls. They are victims of Adekunle Adebiyi’s sexual harassment. They can’t talk or report him because they will lose their jobs. We have many cases reported to close friends instead of HR because they don’t trust HR.
“His bribery and corruption with NIMC Nigeria, collecting money from vendors through his fronts and flooding MTN Nigeria with his family and friends as SIM registration agents have continued.
“Adekunle is a bad egg. His corruption is beyond imagination. One of our anonymous members shared a message from him to a finance staff member compelling them to pre-pay a vendor for a big contract, so he can collect his bribes upfront.
“He gives contracts to vendors abroad at higher costs because of money they want to collect as bribes. Procurement staff and Finance team know this but could not report until some of them joined this “whistleblower” group. Yet they are still afraid because our jobs are threatened by these men who work for Adekunle.
“Check the employments of his many relatives, especially of Ekundayo Fatoki, Customer Acquisition Manager. He failed interviews but Adekunle and his cohorts brought him in re-conducting the interviews two times or more times.
The two ladies he sexually harassed are now afraid, too, to come with proof because our jobs are not safe. We are scared and our lives are at risk. Adekunle and his cohorts are powerful and can exterminate us if they have to.
“Two board of directors are his men. Cyril Ilok, head of forensics, is his womanising and drinking partner, who will never allow all the petitions from the staff to go through investigations.
“He takes bribes from vendors and settles his “boys and girls” in all the units he carries out fraudulent activities, including procurement. Four years ago he fired Daniel and Bukola because they know his secrets about fraudulent activities in all the procurements deals for MTN.
“The people had videos of when his fronts collected the money as bribes unfortunately, they were threatened and fired. The two former staff members are still alive if you want to investigate.
“He virtually uses his fronts and his friends to pitch all the works for customer acquisitions, supplies of MTN airtime and merchandising from the time he was acting as sales and distribution executive till now, money running into billions of naira.
“He can continue to tell lies to Enzo Scarcella, the Group Chief Consumer Officer, his team or Jens in South Africa or even the COO in Nigeria; we know he is a fraudulent man with figures.
“He has boasted to vendors and trade partners as long as Cyril Ilok and Karl Toriola are in MTN Nigeria, nothing will happen to him.
“As at today, MTN Nigeria has over eight court cases of former trade partners Adebiyi removed or terminated their appointments in manners that left a lot to be desired.
“Fire or remove Adekunle Adebiyi before you pay another fine or get into Nigeria’s murky waters.”
Adebiyi allegedly utilized revenues from his corrupt transactions with MTN Nigeria to buy a mansion in Manchester, United Kingdom, and to build a multi-million naira state-of-the-art school for his wife in Lagos, according to the whistleblowers.
“How much does he earn as an executive in MTN that he bought a house in Manchester, UK, including the big school he built for his wife in Lagos,” the aggrieved employees added.
Responding in an email to the allegations made against Adebiyi by the employees, Singh said, “We assure you of our prompt attention to all the concerns raised and that the matters raised will be fully investigated.
“On the sexual harassment complaints raised; MTN is committed to providing a safe environment for all its employees free from discrimination on any ground and harassment at work, including sexual harassment. MTN operates a zero-tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment in the workplace. All complaints of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and treated with respect, sensitivity and in confidence.”
When contacted by SaharaReporters over the issue on Tuesday, spokesperson for MTN Nigeria, Funsho Aina, refrained from commenting despite acknowledging a text message seeking clarification from one of their correspondents.