There is nothing in human-form, that bears a heart as vile and petrifying as a that of a traitor. He that befriends a traitor, is lost to truth and loyalty emblematic of unwavering comradeship. He is forever subjected to the studied sly and ensnaring wile of his treacherous friend.
Yes, how quickly the love and closeness between a powerful multibillionaire businessman and Mutiu Sunmonu, the chairman of construction empire, Julius Berger, and the former Managing Director of Shell Nigeria, dwindled and died, is still a mystery to many. And this is a stark reminder for those who know them that friendship is fickle, especially when money or power is involved.
Should he be asked to write a book on betrayal, this billionaire with a commanding presence of dominance, will churn out volumes of encyclopedia on this subject and more.
Several instances abound, of how, in spite of his large-heartedness, this billionaire has suffered untold acts of betrayal by friends and staff. Yet, he does not harbour any misgiving towards anyone and he forgives easily.
Thus, he sets high standards, which he abides by as a show of exemplary leadership and integrity of character. It is not surprising, therefore, that doing good comes naturally to him, and this is why no amount of betrayal or backbiting would deter him from what he believes in. This billionaire doesn’t hug the limelight despite that it comes with his monumental attainments; neither is he given to engaging in media wars.
Recently, this powerful billionaire suffered a shot of dagger, literarily, from Sunmonu, a man he regarded as a close friend and trusted ally. As a major shareholder in the construction company, the multi-billionaire had tinkered with the idea of buying more shares in the construction company. And so, when the opportunity to acquire more shares became open, he called Sunmonu, who he was known to have enjoyed a chummy relationship with, and told him of his plan.
Sunmonu was said to have made a promise of commitment in assisting the billionaire to acquire more shares. Buoyed by this assurance from the man, whom he regarded as a younger brother, the billionaire relaxed and waited for the signal from him before he made further move.
But unknown to him, Sunmonu had other plan in the offing. In his feline estimation, should he acquire more shares in the organisation, this billionaire would wield so much influence within the organisation.
Predictably, he made a move! Sunmonu was reported to have approached Mohammed Indimi, a notable billionaire businessman and philanthropist. This Maiduguri, Borno State-born businessman is the founder and chairman of Oriental Energy Resources, a privately-held Nigerian oil exploration and production company. Sunmonu was said to have broached the subject of buying into Julius Berger shares to Indimi, and he, in turn, bought into the idea.
And thus, the oil magnate ended up becoming the sole beneficiary of an idea, which was solely and originally conceptualised by the multi-billionaire business guru.
Of course, the billionaire business guru didn’t take kindly to Sunmonu’s move when he discovered he had been prevented from acquiring more shares. He felt betrayed that a man, in whom he had reposed so much confidence in, could mete out such treatment to him. He was further disappointed that he did not carry out this act in isolation.
Sunmonu was said to have solicited the assistance of another major shareholder in blocking the billionaire business guru from acquiring more shares. This other shareholder, who plays big in the oil and gas sector, is presently battling to wriggle himself out of an imbroglio with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC. He was said to have worked in concert with him in carrying out this move.
But some people who are privy to the shares acquisition drama within the company sharply disagreed that there was an act of betrayal on Sunmonu’s part.
Meanwhile, in his quest to further rubbish the billionaire guru’s personality and decimate his dominance within the board, Sunmonu has busied himself with carrying out another agenda. He has become very close to the oil magnate, and this has paved the way for him to ‘poison’ his mind against the Ogun State-born multi-billionaire.
But wait a minute, when will Sunmonu’s tenure end? This is the multi-billion dollar question being asked by many close watchers of the unfolding event.
Some stakeholders in the giant construction company have begun to wonder if his position is a lifetime one. This is on account of the fact that he is so consumed with the lures of the position that he now carries on as if he has an eternal right to it.
Even though his tenure lapses this year, Sunmonu’s body language gives an impression that he is not giving the scantiest consideration in that direction. Already, tongues have begun to wag about how he has cornered one of the juiciest lures of his position – the use of the company’s private jet. According to insiders, Sunmonu has been junketing the globe in the company’s private jet with his new wife, Ekaette, who he married a few months ago.
It will be recalled that four years ago, Sunmonu’s first wife, Funke had died after a prolonged battle with cancer. Her death created a vacuum, which most people thought no woman could ever fill. During his moment of grief, Sunmonu found solace in Ekaette, his former colleague.
According to reports, Ekaette, 56, had helped him to bear the grief, occasioned by the demise of his wife, and the two, reportedly became closer during this period.