As investigation committee says alleged case of sexual harassment, molestation ‘had not been established’
Reactions have trailed the news that Kendall Ananyi has been reinstated as the Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti as an Independent Special Investigation Committee of its Board of Directors that investigated the allegations of sexual harassment made against him, said the claims could not be established.
Recall that on June 7, 2020, Tizeti appointed the Independent Special Investigation Committee to look into the sexual harassment allegation levelled against Kendall by Kelechi Udoagwu, a young woman he was reportedly mentoring.
Kendall Ananyi has now been reinstated as the company’s CEO as a statement by the Company, sighted by TechEconomy.ng, reads: “During the pendency of the investigation, the CEO stepped down and was walled off from communications with the Independent Special Investigation Committee and any matters related to the investigation. In connection with the investigation, on June 7, 2020, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, Tizeti’s COO and Patricia Aiyedun, its CFO, were appointed as co-CEOs pending the results of the investigation.
“The law firm of Olumide Sofowora Chambers, led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Olumide Sofowora, SAN, C.Arb., was then selected by the Special Investigation Committee as independent legal counsel to conduct the investigation. Olumide Sofowora examined the allegations, researched what actions would constitute sexual harassment, gathered relevant information from a number of sources in both Nigeria and Ghana and conducted a number of interviews, including separately interviewing both the accuser and Mr. Ananyi.
“Based on this investigation, it was determined by the independent legal counsel, which conclusion was accepted by the Independent Special Investigation Committee, that a case of sexual harassment had not been established.
This statement released by Tizeti has attracted reactions from Nigerians, especially twitter users.
Reacting to the report @iaboyeji, tweeted:
“This is sad, shameful and especially painful to me because I introduced Kendall to a number of his major investors. The board has resigned. Their major investors have not seen this sham report and do not endorse it neither do I. Very painful.
This tweet attracted other interests. For instance, @JasonNjoku, writes: @tizeti had 3 board members. Kendall (Co-Founder & CEO) + Ifeanyi (Co-Founder & COO) + 4DX. 4DX have resigned. So ‘the board’ is the co-founders. See what happened here. There is no independence in this special investigation. Complete joke.
Then, some queries followed from @IsaacNwokocha and @ObinnaUkwueze
@IsaacNwokocha asks: “Did 4DX resign before or after the investigation? If only the Co-founders (“the board”) endorsed this report, then it’s indeed laughable”. Answer to this question is that 4DX resigned before the release of the Committee’s report.
@ObinnaUkwueze’s concern goes this way: “No doubt you guys know this guy more than I do. Does he have a history of sexual assault or there’s some evidence that isn’t public knowledge yet?”
@YemiA_, however, is concerned about the business itself: “It’s quite sad, they would definitely start losing subscribers en masse soon”.
@eikon_ic disagrees with @YemiA_, saying, “Sadly, they most likely wont”.
Talking about jurisdiction of the case, @MsDamieThompson believes it should have been transferred to the United State.
In her view, “This Kendall/Tizeti behavior = investor friendliness w/out caution. On another note, Tizeti is a US company/Delaware entity. Shouldn’t the sexual harassment claims be reviewed under the lens of US laws? Did the Nigerian law firm work with a US law firm to produce this report?”
This was immediately countered by @iaboyeji, who tweeted: “I don’t think that’s a fair characterization. Founders deserve control of their business for whole bunch of reasons. My strong views on that won’t change because of this one incident. Also there is no locus for taking it to the US since the event didn’t happen there”.
Kendall’s accuser, Kelechi Udoagwu, appears not happy with the outcome of the purported investigations.
Taking to her handle, @anti_ratrace, she expressed displeasure over the process:
“I have just woken up from a long nap, and honestly have no reaction to the news yet. I have to decide if this is worth my time and thoughts before action.
“I have tried, but you can’t topple a flawed system when the people in it aren’t ready.
“Stay safe and protected, ladies”.
It is not yet certain what actions the accuser and the accused will take next.