LEKOIL, a Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company focused on Nigeria and West Africa, has announced that its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Olalekan Akinyanmi, has had his employment contract terminated due to a corporate governance breach.

The company said that it has initiated the search for a new CEO, and Anthony Hawkins will serve as interim Executive Chairman until the search is completed.

The erstwhile CEO is currently under a loan agreement with the Company, and the company has announced that it will begin processes to recover the loan. The outstanding balance of the Loan was about US$1.5 million as of May 31, 2021.


For a long time, there has been a squabble between Lekan Akinyanmi, the erstwhile CEO of LEKOIL, and Metallon, the company’s largest shareholder with 15.1% of the shares. In January 2021, the company’s shareholders approved Metallon’s petition to add three members to the board of directors, bringing the total to seven; a move that the Founder opposed, claiming that if Metallon succeeded, they might organise a takeover effort, which appears to be happening now.

LEKOIL, which made headlines last year for a fraudulent loan, was also under scrutiny by the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources for failing to tell it about Metallon’s stock build-up. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, in a letter sent in December last year, told the company that the Ministry should have been notified about the significant change in its shareholding and its failure to do so may result in serious consequences.