Leatherback CEO Ibrahim Ibitade desires to maneuver on after EFCC debacle

Leatherback CEO Ibrahim Ibitade desires to maneuver on after EFCC debacle

Ibrahim Ibitade, the CEO of Leatherback, a cross-border funds startup that operates in seven nations, is able to transfer from a dramatic episode with the EFCC after the company declared him wished three months in the past with out “conducting due diligence.”

In November 2023, the antigraft company declared Ibitade wanted for allegedly conspiring to acquire cash underneath false pretense. An Instagram submit of Ibitade on EFCC’s official handle has now been deleted after two petitions from Leatherback. 

The fintech startup additionally mentioned it has now been cleared of any wrongdoing.

“We now have instituted an motion in opposition to the EFCC, and we’re already in court docket for defamation of character,” Ibitade instructed TechCabal. Ibitade characterised the EFCC’s motion as “bullying” and an try to see if his firm would roll over, and he requested that the anti-graft company be made to reply for his or her actions.

“There should be penalties as a result of it nearly put a dent in what we’re constructing at Leatherback over the past 5 years,” he added. 

A spokesperson for the EFCC declined to remark.

SDQ Financials and an EFCC investigation

The corporate initially on the coronary heart of the EFCC’s investigation was SDQ Financials, an unregulated entity that lost billions in shopper funds in questionable FX offers. A few of these funds have been acquired utilizing Leatherback’s service. The fintech startup has repeatedly insisted that whereas SDQ Financials used its Naira and USD wallets, it didn’t know concerning the alleged fraudulent offers.

Whereas Ibitade didn’t provide particulars concerning the quantity the EFCC is making an attempt to recuperate from SDQ Financials, he believes among the funds within the query might not be recoverable due to how the EFCC went after him as an alternative of following the cash path.

Whereas the EFCC incident was disagreeable for the corporate, Ibitade is already wanting ahead and stays bullish on the Nigerian market. “We now have gone by way of the part with the EFCC, and at no level did we shut down our enterprise. As a worldwide enterprise, we didn’t construction ourselves in a approach one nation would pull our enterprise down. On the similar time, Nigeria is critical for us,” Ibitade added.

Leatherback says it processed $500 million in month-to-month transactions by June 2023 and was nearing the $1 billion mark earlier than the EFCC episode.

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