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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Mysterious Case of GSK's Nigerian Legal Director






Uchenna Uwechia, GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc's Legal Director and Company Secretary



Back in February I researched and wrote about Glaxo's  Legal Director and Company Secretary, Uchenna Uwechia. The post, GSK's Promo Scam & The Gulf Bank of Nigeria, has received a lot of interest, particularly from Nigeria. It's one of them pieces that the mainstream press are either too afraid to publish or, as the case may be, too lazy to follow the links which led to my findings.

Yesterday, for a period of two hours this blog, which is monitored by IP software, showed the following...










It would appear that at 16.47 and 16.48 GlaxoSmithKline in London were reading my findings. Good, they have a right to read anything I post publicly just as everyone else. What I find strange, however, is half an hour or so later the US Department of Justice (DOJ) are also reading the same post.

Now, one could be cynical here and suggest that Glaxo have close ties to the DOJ (See Eric Holder Returns as Hero to Law Firm That Lobbies for Big Banks) and someone emailed them or, as it has been suggested to me, Glaxo could have, after reading my investigation back in February, contacted the DOJ themselves to "offer their own findings" into what I uncovered.

Glaxo tend to approach the authorities when in-house secrets have been rumbled. It makes them look as if they never knew and also shows them in a good light in coming forward.

So, what exactly did I uncover?

In short, I learned that Glaxo's current legal counsel, who runs all things legal at their Nigerian headquarters, has recently been implicated in a fake promotional scam concerning two of Glaxo's products. That news was reported heavily in the Nigerian media.

Uchenna Uwechia, along with others from GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria, were due to be arraigned later this month. As yet, no such arraignment has taken place, at least it hasn't been reported on.

I wrote to Glaxo Nigeria and asked if they had any plans in suspending Uwechia pending their own investigation, they told me that the charges are unsustainable and that "we are taking appropriate legal steps to address the issue."

At the same time they also thanked me for bringing it to their attention which suggests to me, at least, that they either didn't know that the story had broke in the Nigerian media or they were merely pretending that this was the first they had heard about the fake lotto accusations?

This, for me at least, was just the tip of the iceberg.

I researched Uchenna Uwechia and learned that before joining Glaxo Nigeria in 2006, he was employed by the now defunct Gulf Bank of Nigeria.

During his time at Glaxo Nigeria, where he is still currently employed, he was fingered in an investigation into the Gulf Bank of Nigeria and he, along with other named parties, was arraigned on an amended 21-count charge bordering on fraud and financial malpractices during his tenure at the bank.

The arraignment took place in 2014 when it was alleged that Uwechia, during his employment at the bank (2001 – April 2006) was accused of aiding Prince Adekunle Adeyeba Johnson, the Director of the bank, in converting the landed property to personal use.

The outcome of the 2014 trial has mysteriously disappeared from the Internet.

To add further conspiracy-type theories into the mix, the Judge who was presiding over the 2014 trial, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, has recently been embroiled in his own controversy for allegedly accepting bribes from Rickey Tarfa, Principal Counsel and Head of Nigerian based law firm, Rickey Tarfa & Co.

It's unknown if Justice Mohammed Yunusa was ever bribed by lawyers representing Uchenna Uwechia back in 2014 but it does seem rather bizarre that the 2014 case against the Gulf Bank of Nigeria employees seems to have mysteriously disappeared. 

Furthermore, I find yesterday's blog activity rather dubious too.

When I published my findings back in February, I also sent them to the DOJ who never responded, unlike the British Serious Fraud Office who wrote back to me, thanked me and told me that my findings had been passed on to the department currently investigating GlaxoSmithKline for crimes committed overseas.

It leaves me wondering if the DOJ will do the same.

I don't know about you but if I was a major shareholder in GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria PLC  I'd be asking some serious questions about the safety of my investment.

To read my findings, click here.

Bob Fiddaman.










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