Clara Wanjiku Odero, a former employee of Flutterwave, has accused Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, the Chief Executive Officer of bullying and harassing her for about five years.
In the piece, the erstwhile Head of Implementation (Rest of Africa), wrote that she threated to sue the company for failure to ‘pay her dues’.
For the record I am extremely saddened by the situation between Clara and Flutterwave and I hope genuine reconciliation and forgiveness is still possible. That is really all I have to say.
— iyin.eth (@iaboyeji) April 5, 2022
However, Flutterwave finally paid her dues after some members of staff intervened “…to resolve this amicably”.
According to Odero, what followed was an accusation made by the company of her involvement with a Twitter account that called out male members of Flutterwave’s management for sexual harassment.
“I asked for my dues multiple times, [I] got no response, in fact [I] was threatened and I responded accordingly,” said Odero.
“Flutterwave paid me my money after having multiple people call me to call off my lawyers; lawyers I had to call because they refused to pay me simply because they thought I would do nothing [a.k.a] bully me. Without any proof, they accused me of being behind an account calling out the male members of management for sexual harassment.”
Odero’s post also revealed how she got introduced to a bank in Nigeria for a role which her former boss ‘GB’ also sabotaged “…by saying I was a bad worker, a crime in California.”
Aside the allegation of bullying, some people following the story on Twitter are asking questions regarding part of Odero’s claims that links Flutterwave to M-Pesa in Kenya and the supposed connection to fraud committed with her number as the contact:
“In an attempt to keep doing business in Kenya with M-Pesa, had kept my number as the contact person on the Mpesa pay bill,” she wrote.
What Clara is saying is due to Flutterwave's negligence and incompetence, criminals used her details cos she was the contact person, which shouldn't have happened because she had left the company already.
— Obi (@UdoSike) April 5, 2022
Whether it was negligence or deliberate that they left Clara’s number, it doesn’t matter!!! The point is that flutterwave didn’t act fast enough to fix the issue. That’s the problem
— Chinedum (@chigirl__) April 5, 2022
As at the time of filling this report, Flutterwave has yet to issue official statement regarding Odero’s claims.
But, a TechCrunch report quoted this piece published two years ago, in which Wanjiku claimed her number was used as the contact person in a fraud that involved Flutterwave allegedly processing payments for non-existent sex parties in Thika, Kenya where participants were extorted up to Sh1,500.
Something has been happening for almost five years I am ready to put a stop to.
I have had my name dragged,maligned and been bullied by a powerful man in tech. It ends today.
— Clara (@WanjikuClara) April 4, 2022
Wanjiku sued Flutterwave for damages and won a settlement, according to her blog. However, she appealed the case after deeming the payment inadequate to compensate for all the troubles caused.
This was corroborated in a recent interview granted by Agboola and several important members of Flutterwave and released hours before Wanjiku published her Medium post.
“An ex-employee who led one of our country expansions sued us for negligence and emotional trauma for not removing their name as the contact person in the country. So anytime there was a merchant enquiry, they were called. They said this was emotional harassment,” Flutterwave’s CEO revealed.
“We tried to resolve this amicably, but it was impossible. They asked for $900,000 to quash the lawsuit. We refused because we didn’t believe $900,000 in damages represented the cost of the alleged negligence. They proceeded with the lawsuit, and the judge awarded them an equivalent of $2,500 for damages. When it was time to cut the check, they declined it and said they’d appeal.”
The interview, which might have prompted Wanjiku to tell her side of the story, mainly highlighted Flutterwave’s rise to becoming Africa’s most valued company after completing a $250 million Series D round at a $3 billion valuation in February.
It also noted that Flutterwave dealt with a sexual harassment case where it “discovered an employee had been inappropriate towards his team members.” which led to immediate dismissal, the company claimed.
[NB: Part of this report was culled from TechCrunch]