When Power Corrupts…….

Seun Igbalode Written by Seun Igbalode · 1 min read >

American author, F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with the famous quote, “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” He died in his early 40s due to a heart attack; the aftermath of several years of drinking.

This post is however not about getting drunk, but about how another form of inebriation – intoxication with power – can potentially lead to a downfall if not properly checked. Just like the road to getting drunk, power slowly flows through the veins and slowly takes over logical reasoning.

Now to the crux of the matter.

At the time of writing this blog post, it has been close to over 72 hours since David Hundeyin of West Africa Weekly wrote a damning expose about alleged wrongdoings at Flutterwave, one of Africa’s unicorns (private start-ups which are valued at over $1 billion). The alleged infractions border on fraud, insider trading, workplace bullying and sexual assault.

One of the dramatis personae whose name was mentioned in the story has threatened to sue the author alleging certain misrepresentations in the report. This is in spite of the fact that he was not directly accused of any wrongdoing when reading the story at face value.

Deafening Silence

Marcus Tullius Cicero also said: “Though silence is not necessarily an admission, it is not a denial, either.”

Despite the grievous allegations, neither Flutterwave as an entity, nor its co-founder who has been accused of workplace bullying and engaging in inappropriate relationships with female employees among other wrong actions, has reacted.   

Imagine yourself in Gbenga Agboola’s shoes. How do you react to such allegations? Where will you start from? The allegations about violations of United States Securities and Exchange Commission were somewhat addressed by Iyin Aboyeji, also a co-founder and first CEO of Flutterwave. Evidence of insider trading and workplace bullying by trying to short-change ex-employees in stock option deals still subsists.  

The allegations of inappropriate relationships with female employees are also damning. Screenshots of WhatsApp messages and emails were also presented to back up the writer’s claims.

At some point, there has to be a reaction from Flutterwave as an entity and perhaps from GB as the founder

Flutterwave’s Future  

That Flutterwave has a future is not in doubt. But if it is with Gbenga Agboola still at the helm of affairs is a different subject entirely. I foresee him resigning, either voluntarily, or coerced by the board to do so.

Just a few days ago, Flutterwave was the darling of the ecosystem. Everyone fawned at the $3 billion evaluation of the company. The co-founder and CEO was the poster boy of success and an example of how hard work and dedication can pay off, especially in a tricky business clime like that of Nigeria.

Speaking invitations especially at tech conferences were extended to the CEO and signing a partnership with Flutterwave was a thing of pride, worthy of being publicized given the status of Flutterwave.

The precarious situation that Flutterwave finds itself is of the CEO’s undoing and it is perhaps directly linked to his inability to manage success which comes with a certain level of power. It started one action at a time and became a habit that has now obviously led to his downfall.   

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