Newly rebranded TotalEnergies is currently engrossed in a massive scandal.
Barely months after launching its new corporate identity, it is safe to say that it is dead on arrival, as the new image of the organization has now been rubbished and indeed blighted.
According to viral reports, an organisational restructuring recently carried out has led to allegations of a plot to cover up speculations of bribery, abuse of office, poor corporate governance and corruption.
There are also reports of Nigerians in the employee of the organization being targeted for retrenchment, as part of a witch hunt agenda by the current management of the organization in a move tagged restructuring.
The allegations was made by the unions who have since opposed the changes which affected some members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASAN).
According to reports, the sudden retirement of Patrick Olinma, the Executive Director in charge of TotalEnergies commercial activities, kick-started a chain of suspicious moves, as he was quietly eased out amidst his probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In what appeared a bid to hide something obnoxious, Olinma was not only retired, but also replaced on the board of the Nigeria LNG Ltd.
The involvement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the issue saw the anti-graft agency writing to the MD/CEO of Total Nigeria requesting some sensitive information on Olinma.
Among other allegations brought against Mike Sangster, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) TotalEnergies and his management by the union are major ones such as “he is set to execute heinous anti-staff and anti-Nigerian policies with gusto using deceit, defiance, subterfuge and plain dishonesty in all engagements with the branch leadership”.
“What is more symbolic with the roll-out of the new organisation at Total is the turn of events symbolising a big lesson from one of the laws of nature,” a senior member of one of the unions told reporters.
“Mike Sangster had given full powers to one of its fast-rising executive directors, Mr Patrick Olinma, to design the structure and he went ahead to package a juicy position/portfolio for himself that combined important roles previously held by two directors and even more into one so that he (Olinma) would become the super director. However, he was caught up just before roll-out when he was investigated by the EFCC agencies and an internal audit for alleged professional misconduct and corrupt enrichment.”
Olinma is also being investigated for deceiving TotalEnergies sister company, Total Plc, listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), by using his pseudo company to purchase a luxury apartment previously owned by Total Plc in Ikoyi without Total knowing his involvement.
As if that is not bad enough, Olinma is also being investigated over allegations of bribes collection.
Meanwhile, Charles Ebereonwu, Communication Manager, Total Country Services, while reacting to the situation described it as mere allegations. He refused to comment any further.