Jimoh Ibrahim sacks MD on live TV over unpaid workers’ protest

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Funsho Arogundade

Jimoh Ibrahim and his senior management staff at a lecture in Abuja which was almost disrupted by unpaid workers on Monday, 18 Jan. 2016
Jimoh Ibrahim and his senior management staff at a lecture in Abuja which was almost disrupted by unpaid workers on Monday, 18 Jan. 2016

The Group Managing Director of Energy Group, Jimoh Ibrahim, did the unthinkable Monday when he sacked Bolu Afolayan, the Managing Director of one of his companies, Newswatch Media Ltd. during a live TV broadcast in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

This followed a prostest by some members of Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, a the 5th Energy Group GMD Conference held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja.

After announcing the sack of Afolayan, who is said to be Ibrahim’s friend, he went on to appoint on the spot Mr. Demola Abimboye as the new managing director.

The protesters who had stormed the hall while Ibrahim was taking his staff on a strategy lecture, launched into protest songs demanding for their 14 months salaries. For 15 minutes, the drama was beamed live on AIT.

Unperturbed in spite of Ibrahim’s attempt to bully them by calling for security operatives to move them out, the protesters said the confab won’t continue unless Ibrahim or his representatives spoke with them.

Speaking after the protesters had been convinced to have a meeting with some of the Group executives, Ibrahim said he had no apologies owing the staff members because they failed to generate their income after he has given them all the wherewithal to perform optimally.

“I cannot borrow to pay their salaries. It is not sustainable,” Ibrahim said.

According to him, it’s only the media section of 16 companies in his conglomerate that has salary issue. But the man many see as ‘Corporate Bully’, said he’s ready to deal with the problem from that moment.

In line with that, typically of Ibrahim, the eccentric businessman threw overboard the imperatives of rules of engagement in corporate governance and sacked Bolu Afolayan, the Managing Director of Newswatch Media Ltd.

Mr. Demola Abimboye, wo was immediately announced as Afolayan’s replacement, is a seasoned journalist and until now editor of Newswatch Magazine.

He was at the conference when the entire sordid drama played out on live TV.

Abimboye is expected to turn around the fortunes of the monthly magazine.


  1. Tunji Tinuoye

    In the real World of common sense, what Barrister Jimoh lbrahim did was wrong, but he was right in the business conception. He who pays the Pipper dictates the tune. I remember my Marketing Organisation Senior Lecture while a Student in London,UK,, he used to tell us doing the lecture that there is No God in Commerce!!!! The truth is that all of can’t be self-employed, there must employer and employee..l rest my case for now!!!!

  2. Fred Onafeko

    The same way he owed salaries in Air Nigeria until it shut down. Jimoh Ibrahim is a serial business killer. Look at NICON Insurance and other unfortunate businesses that ended up with him, strip assets and suffocate the business, that is his stock in trade.

  3. Yomi

    but the true is biter, you can give a person a job but you can do it for him. If the biz is doing well the manager take the glory but if is other way he take the bull. the sack manager is not taking any paid since last nine month,how do you want the worker to suvive with their family. Jimoh Ibrahim give millions of nigeria the oppourtunity to receive the lecture free of charge,how many nigeria rich people are doing this?more grease to your elbow.

  4. Taiwo

    You can see how good it is to be self-employed, even if it is ordinary chemist or cosmetics shop nobody can sack you. I don’t know the kind of entrepreneur this man is newswatch was doing good before he bought it over just because he had giant shares he thought money was everything. He better call back Agbese and rest to lead him through.

  5. Sunny Akhigbe

    Why was that programme live on television? I mean it was a mere lecture! Were the two lectures in more than 250 slides he delivered today meant for the whole country and the world? Did he not pay for the television coverage? Couldn’t that money be used to offset part of the salaries owed the workers that attempted to disrupt the “conference” today? Some people have more money than the common sense to spend it!

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