Gotel Communications Limited, owned by former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has allegedly gone bankrup.
This medium gathered that the media outfit, which combines television and radio stations based in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, at the weekend disengaged its staff and shut down transmission.
It was further learnt that paucity of funds grounded operations and compelled authorities to shut down the station.
The staff of the media organisation, numbering over 40 at present, were paid one out of five months salaries and told to “go home till further notice.”
Besides four months salaries being owed, the company also has a liability of three years of unpaid leave allowances and 16 months of unremitted pensions, according to a staff member who pleaded anonymity.
“The station stopped transmissions due to inability to fuel its generators, while Priam Group, the umbrella body of Atiku Abubakar’s companies that has been supporting Gotel Communications Limited has vowed not to bail the station with the payment of salaries again.
“Despite the retrenchment done in 2016 to enable the organization meet up its financial obligations, things have gone from bad to worse after the downsizing.
“Furthermore, the non-payment of salaries has been a re-occurring issue since 2019 and 2023 when the former Vice President contested for the seat of the country’s President,” the staff told SaharaReporters.
He added, “Claims by the former Vice President that staff members connived with the former management headed by late John Chiahemen to defraud him is untrue and libellous.
“Rather, he should trace the alleged misappropriation to those close to Atiku Abubakar who were responsible in engaging the management then in 2013 headed by the CEO late John Chiahemen.
“I advised that the report of the forensic audit conducted if looked at keenly would go a long way in fishing out those responsible in the misappropriation of the said fund.”
Sources close to the Priam Group Management, headed by an Indian Vinod Tripath, said, “the problem of Gotel Communications Limited is beyond redemption.”
When contacted the company’s General-Manager, Mohammed El’Yakub, denied that the organisation had folded up.
“We asked staff members to stay at home temporarily for purposes of reorganisation only. We’re in the process of migrating from terrestrial to celestial transmission, after which operations will resume,” El’Yakub said.