The African fintech company Flutterwave said a report of alleged financial and personal misconduct by its CEO Olugbenga Agboola does not reveal new information it did not already know.
“The blog post in question is based on recycled and previously addressed claims, and several others that are false,” the company’s management said in a statement published by Nigerian tech news outlet TechCabal on Apr. 16. It was the company’s first response, four days after the report was published.
But Flutterwave also said it was “conducting a thorough review” of the claims to fulfill its commitment to compliance and ethical responsibility.
It is not clear why the company would be carrying out a review if, as it says, the claims have either been previously addressed or are false. The company has not responded to a Quartz request for comment.
Flutterwave’s CEO invented a phantom co-founder
Flutterwave’s statement over the weekend came after Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, a former co-founder of the company and its first CEO, corroborated at least one allegation from last week’s report: that Agboola, the current CEO, created a phantom co-founder whom he called ‘Greg’ and to whom he allocated some shares in the company’s early days.
“When I joined the company, I was told there’s a chief technology officer named Greg, who’s from MIT, whom I’d meet someday. It never happened,” Aboyeji told TechCabal. (Aboyeji’s investment firm, Future Africa, and Agboola are both investors in the news outlet. The outlet also said its acting editor-in-chief, Koromone Koroye, has recused herself from covering the Flutterwave story because she was formerly employed there.)
“After a while, it became clear what had happened,” Aboyeji said of the ‘Greg’ situation. “By that time it didn’t matter. We [Aboyeji and third co-founder Adeleke Adekoya] had already signed agreements, and I decided to just move on.”
Also known for co-founding the tech talent outsourcing company Andela, Aboyeji said he resigned as Flutterwave’s CEO after “butting heads” with Agboola in 2018. He sold his stake in the company when it raised money last year to reach a billion dollar valuation.
In a statement posted on his Twitter feed, Aboyeji later said he was “scandalized” by allegations of sexual harassment against Agboola, further increasing attention on Flutterwave with some African tech ecosystem players renewing demands for the company and its board to clarify issues.
Flutterwave did not reference Aboyeji’s comments in its Apr. 16 statement. The company only said it “will take action as and when appropriate,” supposedly after its review of claims against Agboola.