South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Ecobank’s largest shareholder, has demanded the resignation of Thierry Tanoh, the CEO of pan-African lender.
PIC, which has a 18.95 percent stake, made this demand in a letter addressed to Andre Siaka, the interim chairman of the bank and was signed by Daniel Matjila, the Chief Investment Officer of PIC who also has a seat on the board of the bank.
This demand is coming on the back of a request made by four senior executives of the bank asking that Tanoh step down due to bad governance and leadership after an inquiry into the affairs of the bank by Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The inquiry was as a result of accusation levied against Tanoh and the former Chairman, Kolapo Lawson by former Finance director, Laurence do Rego who told the regulatory body they were using shareholders money for personal benefits
This led to the recommendation of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) where shareholders will vote on governance reform and set-up a seven-member interim board which included Tanoh and Matjila. The meeting which was scheduled to hold at the bank’s headquarters in Togo on March 3rd did not due to a court injunction.
According to the letter, Matjila stated that the board had hoped to discuss Tanoh’s tenure at the meeting even though it was not on the official agenda and was stunned over the injunction which it referred to as a “strange tactic”.
PIC believes that Tanoh’s resignation is necessary for the future of the bank and claims that seven out of the eleven members of the current board of the bank have the same view.
Although Tanoh has not made any comments, his future at the bank remains unclear. However with seven members likely to vote against him, his position looks increasingly shaky.