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iROKING Drama…Michael Ugwu Responds!

BellaNaija.com

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Michael Ugwu | Jason Njoku

Michael Ugwu | Jason Njoku

Just a few hours ago, iROKO Partners released a statement announcing the dismissal of the CEO of iROKING, Michael Ugwu.
Now, Michael has responded with his side of the story.

***

I would like to state for the record that a decision to wind down iROKING was taken before the iROKO management “apparently’” fired me. I was verbally asked to become COO of Spark Ltd which I summarily refused stating my intention to stay in the music space. It has been clear for some time that iROKO Partners wanted to exit the music space culminating in the winding down of iROKING so I am still fully trying to understand how I would set up a platform to compete with a platform that was to be “scrapped” according to Mr Jason Njoku.

For the record I would like to see physical evidence of the digital platform I have set up. A copy of the apparent companies registration will suffice. I also strongly suggest to the management of iROKO Partners that rather than sending out press releases and writing blog posts on their personal blogs they should first tidy their house and/or pursue serious legal action.

In the land of iROKO I guess restructuring means getting out of a sector. Nigerian artists please beware of iROKO Partners apparent commitment to developing the digital distribution space. (Please see attached screenshot)
Chat with Bastian
In the Ventures Africa blog post I was fortunate enough to read Jason Njoku’s mention of a 6 week “generous” severance package for iROKO staff however to date all the iROKO staff affected in this saga have not received such. I implore serious investigative journalists to verify his claims. Seek out former staff and ask questions.

I believe that Jason Nkoju has possibly spent far too long distributing Nollywood films online so much so that some of the sensationalist story lines influence him.

If iROKO Partners wishes to pursue legal actions I suggest they do such or I will see this is flagrant defamation of character.

Last year iROKO Partners Lagos had circa 80 staff, now there are circa 15 remaining. At a time many of us were loyal to the iROKO cause, however serious structural issues have arisen so much so that many have felt it safer to find employment elsewhere. I wish the remaining staff members and management the best of luck in their future endeavours.

Thank you for all the phone calls and text messages showing concern.

I am working on something rather exciting and will be announcing my next venture in the coming weeks.

50 Comments

  1. Lizzie

    October 31, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Ok now…

  2. Sharon

    October 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Uhmm wait ohh, is this michael dude single
    Looking at his neat fingers nails (in the other post), i think he is a neat freak and ocd like me. Just what i need in a God fearing intelligent smart husband. He cute. Jason abeg stop all this embarrassment of my future husband – this release was too quick and i think yall shoulda settled matters behind close doors before rushing out to put out this press – that is not a good look sha. Michael sweetie am sorry okay, all this will settle soon. Sweetie. 🙂

    • CarliforniaBawlar

      October 31, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      See ya life on the outside?! with all the yawa wey dey ground, the first thing that comes to your mind is his relationship status?? I shake my ‘fro for you….

    • Iwari

      November 1, 2013 at 4:20 am

      LOOOOLLLL

    • oyinda

      November 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      abi oh. she no even say.. how can I help the situation oh lol.. na the thing wey she want na only she dey see.

      I no judge you sha.

    • slice

      November 1, 2013 at 12:13 am

      pele Sharon. those that know these things say “he haf marry” and that no dey expire

    • http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

      November 1, 2013 at 1:56 am

      LMAO.

      What has Nigeria turned into. How does your single status enter this topic. LOOOOOOl.

      africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

    • She formerly known as Knut

      November 1, 2013 at 2:31 am

      Na wa, you decided on your husband just by his finger nails? Strong tinz are happening

    • Jo!

      November 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

      He’s married with a daughter. Back off! Eyin aye

    • oyinda

      November 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      lol at eyin aye! almost fell off my chair..
      vicious comment.

    • truetalk

      November 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      SHARRRROOONNN!!!! OMMMMGGG!!!! Ur a bonified CLOOOWWWNNN!!!! I dont blame u sha, woman must to marry abi???

      Well I wish Iroko luck and also this Mike dude…severing business ties is always a sticky situation pele, ndo

    • madman

      November 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      He’s married. He was even featured on bellanaija.. Sorry ehn, http://www.bellanaija.com/2010/01/21/beautiful-love-arese-ogiemwonyi-michael-ugwu-wed/

    • Ada Nnewi

      February 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Bella took down the post….they are not together anymore..

  3. Funke

    October 31, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    they fired this guy without a face to face with Mike and some of the team. now Jason goes on a rant all over the internet #cowardice

  4. Yaw

    October 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    @Sharon, you are crazy(I mean no disrespect) Lol. Husband scares now oO!

  5. Annod

    October 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    shudder!… nastiness.

  6. honeymix

    October 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    @Sharon, you just killed me with laughter here, the man is on a hot seat, a very big dilemma, and you are saying he’s cute .Well aktually as MSA said he’s really cute though.

  7. tatafoo

    October 31, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Go Mike… Jason and Bastain one word…. We are waiting for the big fall. Investor money would soon finish with 3 people salary accounting for 1/4 of the investor fund with no good revenue model.

  8. asgrl

    October 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    One Screen shot does not all of sudden become evidence.

    However if this was truly a case of inappropriate conflict of interest not divulged to management or the board/Espionage, then I truly believe the first step by Iroko would have been to take legal steps. Not all this PR moves, no one new until they made it a point for us to know.

  9. Leah

    October 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Ok I honestly did not understand “his side of the story”. Can someone please explain? Did he or did he not? You can not make a company that is paying you your competition period. “To be scrapped” does not mean Scrapped (what ever that means). Let the drama beging on BN.

    • slice

      November 1, 2013 at 12:11 am

      permit me to help him. According to Michael: Jason and co
      were planning to scrap iroking. reorganize if you will. so they
      said to one of their biggest and brightest, we would like to retain
      you but as CEO of Sparks. He said No. I joined you because I want
      to work in digital field. if you can’t provide that job, i want out
      of my contract with you. They tried to sweeten the offer like many
      companies before them have done to many CEOs before him in a bid to
      get them to sell their souls ie accepting more money to do work you
      don’t really like. He still said no. They vexed. fired him and told
      everyone they had started a competing company. Now it’s possible he
      was thinking of doing just that or even working on it on the side
      already. probably waiting for his non-compete to expire bc those
      clauses don’t last forever. but according to him o, he had not
      actually started tthe company.

    • MyView

      November 1, 2013 at 3:36 am

      So why couldn’t the Michael guy articulate it the way you just did?

    • larz

      November 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      I don’t believe it for a sec. No smoke without fire. If
      they publicly declare that he is breaking anti-competing clause
      then surely he has started something. Also, he sed he is working on
      exciting stuff, now now? The person wey dem just fire. It is a
      corporate world. They r both playing games n telling a side of the
      story. Also, that evidence is crap. Bastian decided to send Mike a
      whatsapp message for the very first time to convince him to stay.
      Who does that? When? Clearly, there was no previous and follow up
      message. What r we? stupid? Iroko guys r conveniently pretending
      that it is more than their side hustle whilst Mike is pretending it
      is about his decision not to move into Sparks. I say they r both
      partial truths, combine them n u will start to get a good
      idea.

  10. dlapikin

    October 31, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    hmmm

  11. Okechukwu Ofili

    October 31, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Wow. Hope they both fix their issues in private o. Hate to
    see them carry their gbese for the public to dissect. Much love
    Iroko now and ex iroko, don’t let this spin into a social media
    war.

    • Okechukwu's Babe

      November 1, 2013 at 9:55 am

      I think I’m in love with Okechukwu Ofili

    • Idak

      November 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Okey list long o!
      I hope the patience to wait for your turn?

    • Ginika

      November 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      This is just creepy -_-

    • Idak

      November 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Okey list long o!
      I hope you have the patience to wait for your turn?

  12. NNENNE

    November 1, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Hope they sort it out amicably. If the company is not making money, it makes sense to scrape it instead of running into bankruptcy.
    As for those waiting for a big fall, heaven have mercy for your souls.What you wish others do come back to you. Karma is a bitch!

    • larz

      November 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      In more civilised corporate world, they (Iroko) will exit
      the music industry or sell part of it to a willing Michael.
      Everyone lives happily ever after plus it means they can do
      business together in the future.

  13. ibukungeorge

    November 1, 2013 at 4:57 am

    I had to quickly defend my Brother in law.No he’s not single.He’s happily married with a kid.Ladies hands off!Between,his marriage was on bella naija

    • Eve82

      November 1, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Last I checked, he and his wife are separated. Now I don’t know if he is legally divorced though. For the lady inquiring about his status…there you go!

    • i no send

      November 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

      thanks eve for the heads up ..dude is fine sha

    • The Real Madam the Madam

      November 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Eeeyah, that sucks. I noticed she doesn’t wear her ring anymore. They were such a cute couple from their wedding pictures.

  14. frances

    November 1, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Lmao at sharon’s comment! Ur revelation frm just fingernails is serious indeed!
    It would be better if this was settled privately and not across E-space for all to see though.

    imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

  15. benashmom

    November 1, 2013 at 8:20 am

    @Slice, thnx for making it clear some of us dnt understand the jargons. but I still thinks he’s cute.

  16. Kosmotv

    November 1, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Kosmotv brings you latest Nigerian Music Online. Mr. Nkoku kindly check it out. It could replace Iroking.

  17. AyoSpecie

    November 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Pls settle this matter amicably.
    We need our young minds to be focused.

  18. Miss Tee

    November 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    lmao @sharon nd my view’s comment… chooiiii u guys wont kill me oo

  19. Bide

    November 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Lmao..Sharon literally stole this guys spotlight…

  20. larz

    November 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    seriously ladies? time n place. for everything

  21. Mimi

    November 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I lost all respect for Jason and his crew for the way the handled this. Like someone said, do you know how many times Steve Jobs had to let people from Apple go, and when he did – do you think this is how he did it. This is so unprofessional. Extremely utterly unprofessional. You have just shot your self in the foot, you think you may be tarnishing dudes reputation but from what i see i will NEVER want to work with you even if the pay was a million dollars. Tufiakwa!!!!!! – What kind of company is this. You dont know how to communicate???? You definately need some leadership and management books from the worlds top successful companies and learn a thing or two,You have a lot to learn Jason – you and your whole team who released this nonsensical press release. There are so many ways you coulda done this. This is Extremely Utterly Unprofessional and Tacky to say the least.

  22. Mimi

    November 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Sharon you need JESUS!! – this girl made me choke on my food, laughing so hard. Even Michael himself and his wife will just laugh reading this. hahahaaha. Sharon you are hilarious.

  23. Beautiful

    November 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    LMAO!!! I hope Sharon’s comment made you laugh Michael and follow ups. I commented earlier that Nigeria’s problem is , PEOPLE! I have read through your side of the story, even if not as detailed which is understandable. I agree with comments on how unprofessional Iroko has handled this matter in the public glare. They have just in my opinion, washed their dirty linen in public as a lot of deed has been aired for any professional or executive to dissect and any investor to panic. I maybe wrong but that story about funds mismanagement without proper revenue streams, is enough to hear within the next couple of days, some major reshuffle in the organization structure, by the PE firm backing them. They wouldn’t pull out suddenly without recouping ROI but they should be proactive.

  24. the mane captain (healthy hair & skin tips)

    November 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t really understand both side of the story. I’m sure there’s a reason he was let go.
    themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

  25. NNENNE

    November 2, 2013 at 3:38 am

    @ the mane captain… Thank you very much. I do not know
    both men but as someone whose family has done business with
    Nigerians at a distance I do not trust most of our people. They
    will strip you for all you got.Not all but most and that is a
    shame!! That is why most Nigerians in diaspora are afraid of
    starting businesses while still away from home. If most of our
    people were honest, we will have twice as much jobs as we have
    today from the private sector.

  26. Ima

    November 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Why is this being played out in the public

  27. http://www.gonigerian.com

    November 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I curious to know how old is iROKING? Sadly many Nigeria
    companies while may make their management move around public
    withhold public earnings. How much is iROKING worth?

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