Revealed! 'How Obasanjo hounded Adenuga for refusing to implicate Babangida'


Adenuga, IBB and Obasanjo

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

…Narrates how billionaire businessman was forced into self-exile

A former Director of External Communications and Public Relations, Globacom, Olabode Opeseitan has revealed how the Chairman of the foremost telecommunication network provider, Dr. Mike Adenuga was hounded by the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo over Adenuga’s refusal to Implicate General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB).

In a special piece to celebrate the 70th birthday of Adenuga, Opeseitan said the Obasanjo regime remained the most vindictive administration against Adenuga and his businesses.

Adenugu and Obasanjo are both from Ogun State.

Opeseitan said as a business icon, Adenuga embraced the policy of reacting to issues in a manner totally different from many other business elites.

“No matter the storm, he (Adenuga) is always calm. Dr. Adenuga has spent a substantial part of the last two-and-a-half decades of his life nurturing Globacom into the giant brand it has become.

“He built it all from the ground up, spending thousands of painstaking days and nights with his team. In the process, he has been celebrated locally and globally, at times maligned and a few times persecuted.

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“He has stepped on toes; others have stepped on his toes. Sometimes, he would get his team to defend his honour, at other times, he would let it slide. He knew he could not please everyone and he endeavours to fix his shortcomings.

“In later years, he developed a thick skin to extreme critics. When he sees a profound gesture or publication celebrating his exploits, he reaches out to express his gratitude, sometimes personally. He likes to keep his head under the parapet, as he loves to frame it,” Opeseitan recalled.

He added that Adenuga never confronted any government in power but would always devise his own ingenious way to co-exist harmoniously with the government of the day.

“He believes he has too much at stake to take on any government. He uses diplomacy, tact, and rapprochement to reconcile differences. He told renowned broadcaster Bisi Olatilo in a rare interview, “Big businesses don’t fight the government. They work with the government.”

However, Opeseitan narrated how Obasanjo’s regime moved against Adenuga, using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The most vindictive government for Dr. Adenuga remains the Olusegun Obasanjo regime, which even forced him to go into self-exile. From various reports, Obasanjo wanted him (Dr. Adenuga) to implicate General Babangida and lie to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the General owns Globacom. ‘Once you confirm that to Nuhu, everything will be fine’, he was instructed.

“At that time, Nuhu Ribadu was the Chairman of EFCC. Adenuga couldn’t understand why anyone would want him to lie against himself over his own business. Adenuga refused. He was hounded out of town and the rest is now history.

“For General Babangida, that was a commendable act of courage by Adenuga for refusing to accede to a trumped-up charge to implicate him (Babangida), ruin his reputation, and then possibly give his traducers the weapon they need to prosecute him,” Opeseitan said.

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