Things no longer seem rosy between billionaire economist and banker, Tony Elumelu and his fellow billionaire investor, Femi Otedola. The closeness both friends hitherto enjoyed may have just been sacrificed on the altar of bullish corporate moves.
During the lavish 80th birthday party of Hajia Bintu-Fatima Tinubu, mother of the Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, penultimate week, the tension that brewed between both men at the party was palpable. Both of them were seated at the same table and they barely exchanged words.
To help douse the tension, businessman and entrepreneur, Sam Iwuajoku offered to sit between them to reduce the tension that could have conflagrated if he didn’t make that move. After exchanging pleasantries with the celebrant, the host and a few guests, Elumelu exited the party without much ado.
The scenario was unfortunately quite unlike how the two erstwhile buddies used to pump fists, hug lightly and make banters when they meet at parties and even take pictures together. But no thanks to Otedola’s stealthy moves to take over Transnational Company of Nigeria from his friend.
Unfortunately, his plans backfired as both businessmen reached a deal on the control of Transcorp with Elumelu buying back Otedola’s shares at a premium and consolidating his hold on the company.
Just when everyone thought that all was well and nothing could come between them, at least on the part of Elumelu who choose to publicly speak highly of his friend and his business acumen, Otedola rather than reciprocate the gesture, chose to throw him under the bus and made some shocking revelations.
Well the die is cast, we await to see who blinks or swallows the humble pie first.