The arrest of Iseghohi: What is wrong with Nigerians?

The news report about the arrest and detention of the group managing director of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, (Transcorp), Mr. Tom Iseghohi, is shocking if true. Is his arrest a distraction? Please, forgive my scepticism, but experience teaches us that, Nigeria investigates “fraud” only where there is a political brinkmanship in the offing, or where someone fails to share the loot (STL).

The profile of this gentleman is simply intimidating, he is simply very brilliant man- the face of the new Nigerian (forget the 419ners and the drug pushers) his appointment as the MD of TRANSCORP was hailed as a case of putting square peg in a square hole.

Please read the profile of this man:

Mr Iseghohi is a highly experienced executive with 20 years of corporate business experience in the global arena. The incoming Group Managing Director is an expert in business transformation and has led business transformation for some of the largest companies in the world such as American Express, Ford Motor Company and Pepsi-Cola Company.  He is also a leading expert in economic and financial structures as well as deal creation and analysis. 

During the course of his career, Tom has been involved in structuring and analyzing hundreds of global, regional and domestic investment opportunities and specific portfolio risk management decisions.

Until his appointment, Mr. Iseghohi was an Executive Vice President at the Hudson Consulting Group, a New York based Commercial and Governmental firm that focuses on Deal Analysis, Deal Creation, Transaction Facilitation, Strategy, Executive Coaching and
Transformational Consulting. On a day-to-day basis, Tom coached several Fortune 500 Top Executives including CEO’s, Executive Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents on Strategic and Operational issues. 

The Hudson Consulting Group’s average client has over $20 billion in annual turnover. Tom joined the Hudson Consulting Group from American Express in 2004 where he was head of Global Finance Operations Across American Express Bank, Travel Related Services and Investment Banking. 

At American Express, he was the Executive Vice President, Global Finance, Chief Procurement Officer, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.  He managed the firm’s global balance sheet with a total asset value of close to $200 billion dollars and
Liquid assets of about $70 billion dollars.  He managed all aspects including investment strategy, risk management, selection of fund managers around the world etc.

Mr. Iseghohi has also been an executive in three of the most respected and successful companies in the world: Ford Motor Company, $176 billion in annual revenue, Pepsi-Cola Company, $20 billion in annual revenue and American Express Group  of Companies with $23 billion in annual revenue’. This is the profile of the man now under arrest.

But wait a second, what is this mess about detaining him in SSS cell? Where are the EFCC, the ICPC, and The anti-fraud squad of the Nigeria Police or other financial crimes law enforcement agencies’ cell?

I believe the SSS means, the State Security Service; Is Iseghohi a security risk? If so, to whom, is it to the Nigerian Government? If he is being accused of fraud, according to my last check, fraud does not equal to treason.

Is this a personal vendetta? Is someone being made a pawn in the political chess game that is Nigeria?

TRANSCORP is the baby of the past president, Obasanjo; with the reported escalation of Obasanjo/Yar’adua feud; is there a connection? Would the battle between OBJ and UMUYA consume some ‘innocent’ bystanders?

Please, forgive my scepticism, but experience teaches us that, Nigeria investigates “fraud” only where there is a political brinkmanship in the offing, or where someone fails to share the loot (STL). Ask Obasanjo himself!

It is a shame the LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that broke the story failed to give the details. It is sad that the more you read Nigerian publications here, the less you understand because context is almost nil in most stories these days.

On the other hand, is this another distraction, a perfected art of the Yar’adua government? Per Chidi Amuta: “the Yar’adua administration has elevated political diversion into an art of statecraft and a strategy of political survival. The broad outline would seem to run somewhat thus: spend the first year pretending to be learning and planning. Second year: probes and counter probes of the past administration and renegade factions of the present one. Third year: start early rehearsals on the 2011 elections and the prospect of a second term. Fourth year: the politics of succession. Throughout this period, ensure that public discourse focuses on these diversionary projects with little attention on governance and the implementation of projects to address the general condition of the majority”.

Stories like these in Nigeria are often used to keep the citizens busy with arguments, just like the one about the arrest of Ibrahim Aliyu, purportedly in the course of investigating the Halliburton scandal, while the main culprits junkets around the world on official duties to the Federal Government