Kendall Ananyi, the CEO and co-founder of Tizeti Network, has denied an allegation of sexual harassment that has led to his suspension.
Amid the wave of renewed public outrage directed at sexual crimes in Nigeria in the past week, Kelechi Udoagwu, a tech consultant, accused Ananyi days ago of exposing his private part and pressuring her for sexual favours during a business meeting.
She said the incident happened when he was supposed to be mentoring her while she was in MEST, a tech entrepreneur training.
The allegation later led to an announcement by Tizeti, an internet provider, on Sunday, June 7, 2020, that Ananyi has stepped down as CEO while an independent investigation is conducted.
After days of hiding from public scrutiny, Ananyi released a brief statement on Twitter later on Sunday to deny the allegation.
He said, "At this point, I would like to start correcting the facts and state that I never had a MEST mentor-mentee relationship with Kelechi.
"MEST can easily verify this from their records, however Kelechi and I did meet at a MEST event in Accra and during which I addressed MEST cohorts.
"Kelechi and I never had any mentorship session and I never sexually harassed or raped her."
Ananyi said he'll continue to work on clearing himself of the allegations.
Udoagwu reveals details about alleged incident
However, shortly after Ananyi's statement, Udoagwu posted a series of unreplied tweets at Ananyi that provided more details about the alleged incident.
She accused him of whipping out his private part during the meeting, and indicated she repeatedly turned him down before she was able to leave the room.
She posted, "Are you saying that this did not happen? Or you can’t recall how many times I told you I wanted to leave?
"You kept saying “wait, you wanted to finish your video call w your partners” like you had more advice to share.
"What did you come towards me & do after this video call?"
Udoagwu also announced that there are other girls who have shared stories of similar encounters with the tech boss, but who prefer to remain anonymous.
Tizeti's statement about Ananyi's suspension has subsequently been deleted from the company's Twitter account where it had been posted on Sunday evening.
The company's board said Ananyi would be temporarily replaced by Patricia Aiyedun, its current CFO, and Ifeanyi Okonkwo, its current COO, who will serve as interim co-CEOs.
Pulse strongly condemns violence and sexual assault against women. We’re firmly behind all campaigns against rape and declare our support for the individuals, groups and organizations working hard, fighting tirelessly to make our community safe for girls and women; and unconducive for rapists and other sexual predators.
To report rape and to support this cause, reach out to any of the organisations listed in the slides >>>
[It’d be nice if you can get their logos and place it in their respective slides]
1. Stand To End Rape Initiative
[Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt]
2. Mirabel Center
3. Domestic & Sexual Violence Response Team [DSVRT] Lagos
4. Women at Risk International Foundation. [WARIF] Lagos
0809 210 0008
5. The Consent Workshop
If you know any organization or NGO fighting rape and other forms of violence against women in your city or state, please drop their contact information in the comments section. You could be helping several women.