The founder and CEO of Risevest, a Nigeria-based investment app, has stepped down to allow the startup investigate allegations of sexual impropriety against him, the company said.
The firm said in a statement on Tuesday that its investors had recommended the chief executive of the company, Eke Urum, leave his post for investigations to go forward and he had agreed.
A team led by Tomi Davies of TVC Labs will probe the complaints within six weeks, and the findings will be made known within two weeks.
“In light of allegations of abuse of power and sexual impropriety, Eke Urum willingly agreed to step aside as CEO of Risevest as of August 3 2022 to allow for a 6-week investigation, set up by Risevest’s investors, to run its course,” Risevest said in the statement.
“We are committed to getting to the root of the matter and have launched a formal investigation to achieve this. The situation is being handled with utmost transparency through an independent panel with no affiliation to employees of Risevest.
“We want to assure our stakeholders and the general public that we continue to operate optimally as a company, and our customers will continue to enjoy the highest quality of services and support.”
Other members of the panel are Odunoluwa Longe of TLP Advisory as legal adviser and Toun Tunde-Anjous of The People Practice.
The company said in the meantime the head of operations, Tony Odiba, who has been with Risevest since its inception, will lead the company as interim CEO.
“Risevest as a company has zero tolerance for abuse, harassment, and misconduct and is committed to establishing the truth of this matter while also reviewing policies to ensure a safer workplace,” it said.
Mr Urum could not be immediately reached Tuesday. He told Techcabal that he was informed of the allegations by investors but he was not aware of who raised the complaints.
“I was told on the evening of August 1 by investors that someone reached out that there were allegations of bullying, sexual harassment, and intimidation. They didn’t say by whom, but I was told to step aside so an independent panel could carry out an investigation.” he was quoted as saying.
In February 2021, a former employee of the startup in her personal blog post accused Mr Urum of creating an unhealthy work environment.
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