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Divergent vs ex-employees: Two sides to allegations against Glory Osei, Folorunso Muyiwa 

Divergent Enterprise has been the name currently trending on social media in the last 48 hours, but it’s not for good reasons.

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Divergent Enterprise. Glory Osei

Divergent Enterprise has been the name currently trending on social media in the last few days but it’s not for good reasons. The company, owned by Glory Osei and Folorunso Muyiwa, has been accused by ex-employees of scamming their clients through its various subsidiaries which includes fashion, property, and investment. But the end is not near, as the ex-employees say that they are unfazed by Divergent’s threats of taking legal action.

With footprints across various sectors in Nigeria, Divergent Enterprise is the parent company of notable startups, Porkmoney, LandLagos, and Hyberfactory, among many others. The companies, which are all located in Victoria Island, are alleged to be fronts for illegal activities.

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According to some ex-employees on Twitter, the companies are scamming their clients, while others accused the co-founders and couple, Osei and Muyiwa, of creating hostile work environments which caused depression to some employees and the sack of about 30 employees within a day.

The accusations began to pour in after Osei posted on her Twitter account, @glory_osei, that her company, Hyberfactory was restructuring, disclosing that all positions in the company were open. This announcement wasn’t well-received by her ex-staff.

[READ MORE: HSBC to sack 10,000 more staff globally]

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Countless allegations

While revealing his experience working for Divergent Enterprise, a Twitter user, @TheGeniusJaj, the publisher of BarcaFocus, said that he only worked for the company for four months before he and 29 others were sacked. He got employed in October 2017 and was sacked by February 2018, but was paid one month’s salary by the company.

He accused Muyiwa of operating a Ponzi scheme to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians, disclosing that Muyiwa organized an event at Civic Center inviting Nollywood celebrities in order to make the initiative look legal.

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[READ ALSO: Nigerians may lose their jobs as mass sack looms at British American Tobacco globally]

Another ex-employee disclosed through her Twitter handle, @TherealAda_, that LandLagos was also a fraudulent enterprise operated by Muyiwa and Osei. According to Ada, who started working for one of Divergent’s subsidiaries in June 2019, but got sacked alongside several others across Divergent’s subsidiaries in September 2019, the scam runs through LandLagos, Hyberfactory and Porkmoney.

In one of Ada’s tweets about the company, she stated that, “For Landlagos, he had different lands for sale (3m, 4.5m, 5m and 12m). I’ll talk about the 3m lands because that’s the real scam. So the title of the 3m land was “Excision in Process” which means the lands were for Muyiwa but the government still had a big right to claim them.”

On the allegations against Porkmoney, Ada tweeted that, “Let’s talk about Porkmoney. Porkmoney is a supposed “pig farm” that needed funds to produce the end product which is “Porkoyum” Porkoyum’s office is at Ogba. So what Muyiwa did was that he’d tell people to invest a certain amount and then say he’d pay back with interest after 11 months.”

She added that, “There were different batches for the pork money scheme (Ponzi scheme). This is what Muyiwa did. First batch paid, Muyiwa used their money to flex. After 11 months, he started another batch which he used to pay the first batch. We know how MMM worked now.”

On Hyberfactory, Ada wrote“Let’s talk about hyberfactory. They sell fake hair and a lot of other fake stuff at ridiculously high prices. If you know about hair as I do, you’d understand what I’m saying.”

Also speaking about her experience working for Network Bank, another subsidiary of Divergent, @bjfranzy said the company once sacked 40 staff, only to hire another 70 to operate what she called a Ponzi scheme.

According to her, Network Bank was another scam used to defraud customers. @bjfranzy also said that products created by Divergent, like the Flat Tummy Tea, Hair NowNow, Slimtea, are fake. She said that actors, or people willing to be paid to testify about the value of these products were hired. @bjfranzy worked there for three months.

https://twitter.com/bjfranzy/status/1186190642516582400

https://twitter.com/bjfranzy/status/1186201784823496704

Meanwhile, Kenny Owen said he knew nothing about the scam, though he experienced the wrath of Muyiwa. According to Owen, two weeks into working for Divergent in July, he became depressed, and was later sacked in September.

Another ex-employee, Onyii Bekeh, criticized the management system of the company. Bekeh who tweeted through her Twitter handle, @OnyiiBekeh, said Osei lived a different life from what she portrayed online.

Bekeh spoke of how the founders were “sharing money weekly on IG (Instagram). I was like but you owe people salary, what’s tea?” According to Bekeh, she didn’t mind the contrast in attitude until they started exploiting them. Adding that she was fired while on sick bed without notice. Bekeh used to work for Femfunds, another subsidiary of Divergent Enterprise.

While for @eOlaaaa, her employment at Divergent was moving from frying pan to fire as the experience was worse than her previous place of work where she was an intern. She said the employment destroyed her entire life, and likened it to slavery.

For Segun Oke, another ex-employee, his experience at LandLagos was short-lived as he was sacked after 11 months because Muyiwa had a new business idea, “Working in Divergent Enterprise (LandLagos) for 11 months, lol.. Most of the midnights, you are up thinking, ‘any day now, any moment now son’ …. you could practically be let go for being human. My Team and I were placed on “compulsory leave”.. W..what???!.”

Oke addedYou employ people, (professionals)… Engineers, etc.. Ranting about how intelligent you want the home to be.. 5 goddamn people had to leave their previous firms because what, – a false dream was sold. Tuuueh. Impractical jokes. This one pain me Gan.

“A month after.. Glory is back in the office. Muyiwa with his usual “new business ideas”.. Compulsory leave. LandLagos design and construction team. Fiam.. Gone. That’s where you’d know.. Its all a wash.. Social media real estate firm.” Oke concluded.

Yet another Twitter user@chuojekwe, who was a former employee of Osei, tweeted, “Glory and Muyiwa are being called out as the scam artists that they are. The worst thing is that I had to live with the trauma of being sacked (with immediate effect) with no reason at all. A fellow colleague (Elizabeth) came to tell me that I was being sacked. No letter, no HR.”

The accusation started years ago

There were many other ex-employees who spoke about their maltreatment by Osei and Muyiwa. However, this accusation didn’t start this year, as the company had been blacklisted by social media platform, Nairaland.

In 2014, one of Divergent’s subsidiaries  True Rebel Fashion, which was one of the earliest enterprises of Osei and Mayowa, had been accused of the same allegations. On Nairaland, a contributor reported that the company was into defrauding their clients by selling fake jewelry. It was disclosed in 2014 that the company had a cunning way of disengaging its workers without pay, within weeks of employment.

Divergent and Osei deny allegations

Both Divergent Enterprise and Osei have denied the allegations. Osei said the accusation of operating a Ponzi scheme was unreasonable as her company had ensured that it didn’t operate beyond its budget.

In her statement, Osei said“This is a ludicrous statement. Everything we have done from when we started till now is to maximize the resources at our disposal, making sure to not take more than what we need to achieve what needs to be done. It is pretty jarring that anyone would say this given just how fragile our ecosystem is. We are on schedule to paying all of our partners, and in fact, off the potential of all our other ventures would not be needing any more outside capital to finance our growth effort.”

https://twitter.com/glory_osei/status/1186195507049369600

She also dismissed the accusation that employees of the company were and are maltreated by Muyiwa and herself, “… let me categorically state, I have never mistreated any staff. We are a passionate business people, and all our efforts was always aimed at growing the people we have. Could we be gentler? Definitely, and if anything this whole fiasco is a teachable moment for my company. I wish we had handled the VERY necessary dismissals with a little more tact.” she stated while addressing other issues relating to the establishment of the aforementioned companies.

While for Divergent as a company, in a press release seen by Nairametrics, said that its operations are not against the law of Nigeria and conduct due diligence operations in their dealings. Divergent stated that the company is open to stakeholders to inspect and address any business issue.

[READ FURTHER: Uber sacks over 400 staff for the second time in 3 months]

Disgruntled ex-employees

Divergent said that the allegations against the company were being spread by disgruntled ex-employees, stating that none of the accusations are true, adding that it is fair in its dealings and transactions.

Legal tussle/Faceoff

Divergent disclosed that steps are being taken towards legal actions against the ex-employees who made the allegations against the company. The ex-employees are however not frightened by the lawsuit threat.

@glory_osei tweeted that, “if you want to sue; We can go there. I said it last night and I’m mentioning you now. Give me ALL the smoke!”

@eOlaaaa said, “Nobody is scared of lawsuit. Nobody in the tech, agric or big business scenes knew about this clowns before.”

While @TherealAda_ said, “I heard Glory wants to sue. Has she heard of a class action? No? Okay”

Another ex-employee tweeted,

Note: Muyiwa is yet to respond to the allegations. While effort to reach Divergent Enterprise and Osei proved abortive with no response to an email from Nairametrics on the matter.

Patricia

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Makinde

    October 24, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    This article could have been so interesting to read if it was properly edited.

  2. Anonymous

    October 25, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    I think they (Divergent Entreprises) are truly guilty of the allegations.

  3. Sarumi Hammad

    February 26, 2020 at 5:41 am

    Well compiled story, I was forced for search for this because of the new Twitter threads

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Tech News

3 startups to get N3 million grant each in the COVID-19 virtual hackathon 

The hackathon hopes to identify accessible and cost-effective E-Learning solutions for public schools.

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has announced that 3 finalist startups will get a grant of N3 million each at the end of the COVID-19 virtual hackathon 

These three startups will be selected from submitted entries that meet all the criteria and provide adaptable digital solutions for addressing the present and future impacts of pandemic and epidemic diseases 

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The solutions must be novel, clearly explained, with proof of concept  

NCC announced this through a statement published on its Twitter handle.  

The grant, it said, will enable the three startups with the most promising digital solutions to produce a prototype within 2 months of receipt.  

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According to the statement, submitted entries are expected to provide solutions in sectors such as health, digital communications, education, transportation.  

For those in health, the solutions should find a way to empower frontline healthcare workers or prevent, trace, and contain the spread in Nigeria.  

Solutions in digital communications are expected to aid the sustenance of economic activities and people-to-people communication while encouraging social distancing without compromising productivity. 

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The hackathon also hopes to identify accessible and cost-effective E-Learning solutions for public schools, as well as improved safety measures in public transportation in Nigeria.  

Interested tech hubs, startups and innovative digital SMEs can still submit entries on or before July 17, 2020.  

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Financial Services

CBN expands scope of regional banks in Nigeria, gives compliance timeframe

The aim of this directive is to expand the reach of the regional banks across the country, the CBN said.

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Regional Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expanded the scope of regional banks in the country, by requiring them to open branches in at least one additional geopolitical zone outside of the existing geopolitical zones where their operating licenses cover.

A circular that was issued earlier this week by the apex bank said this new directive is in accordance with “section 8 (g) of the CBN Scope, Conditions & Minimum Standards for Commercial Banks Regulations no [1] 2010 as revised on September 4, 2019.” 

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The new directive took effect on Friday, June 26, 2020. In other words, all the regional banks are expected to have become aware of this development since then. They now have a timeframe of six months to establish their presence in the geopolitical zones outside of where they currently operate.

It should be noted that prior to this time, regional banks in the country typically operated in at least two geopolitical zones of the federation. However, in line with the new expansion, the CBN shall now prescribe an additional geopolitical zone for each of these regional banks, thereby making the coverage area three geopolitical zones per regional bank.

Meanwhile, the CBN said the aim of this directive is to expand the reach of the regional banks across the country, whilst ultimately promoting financial inclusion. Note also that the new directive affects all regional banks, both the ones engaged in commercial banking and non-interest banking. Some part of the circular said:

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“Effective the date of this circular, all banks with regional authorisation shall be required to operate from one additional geopolitical zone as may be prescribed for each institution by the CBN, without prejudice to the existing requirement of the minimum of two (2) geopolitical zones of the federation. The essence is to promote spread and balance of the regional banks across the country.

“The compliance timeline to establish operational footprint at the advised zone shall not exceed six (6) months from the issuance of the regulatory advice to each regional bank by the CBN.”

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Economy & Politics

Nigerian and US Authorities battle former Enron Nigerian Subsidiary over $80 million Yacht

Both Nigerian and American governments have opposed Enron Nigeria’s appeal. 

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19 years after the bankruptcy of Enron Corporation, one of the biggest corporate bankruptcies in American history, a former subsidiary of the company is battling Nigerian and American Authorities over the sale of a yacht valued at over $80 million acquired by Nigerian businessman Kolawole Aluko. 

The yacht was seized by the US Government in 2018 after prosecutors say it was bought with the proceeds of bribes paid to Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani AlisonMadueke. 

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The yacht was later auctioned for $37 million in 2019. The Nigerian government also dropped claims to the proceeds of the sale recently and a Texas Court ordered all proceeds should be retained by the US Government. 

However, a former unit of the Bankrupt Enron, Enron Nigeria Power Holdings claims its entitled to the proceeds and demands $22 million in a bid to get an arbitration awarded to them against the Nigerian government for suspending a contract signed with Enron in 1999 to build and operate a Power plant. 

(READ MORE: Nigeria leads Africa combined in Q2 2020 on BTC P2P)

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Enron Nigeria claims the Nigerian government dropped claims to the proceeds of the yacht’s auction in an attempt to fraudulently transfer assets to stop creditors from accessing them. Saying Nigeria dropping its claims was a recognition of the factual and legal basis” in a DOJ court filing. 

Both Nigerian and American governments have opposed Enron Nigeria’s appeal. 

Enron Nigeria Power Holdings Ltd is owned by ex-Enron staff involved in the negotiations for the Power Plant contract in Nigeria and was bought out of bankruptcy for $750,000 in 2004 by a Cayman Islands registered company. 

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An arbitration ruling in 2012 awarded Enron Nigeria Power Holdings $11.2 million including interest in damages against the Nigerian government. 

The DOJ says Mr. Aluko bought the yacht for $82 million in 2013 and funded a lavish lifestyle for Alison Madueke in exchange for NNPC contracts valued at over $1.5 billion. 

Aluko and his business partner, Olajide Omokore are also accused of laundering illicit revenues into and through the United States

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