Flutterwave CEO in Nairobi for seized billions, CBK permit.
The CEO and co-founder of Nigerian payments company Flutterwave , Olugbenga Agboola, flew into Kenya this week amid efforts to unfreeze his Sh6.6 billion and lift CBK.
The CEO and co-founder of Nigerian payments company Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola, flew into Kenya this week amid efforts to unfreeze his Sh6.6 billion and lift a Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) embargo on the firm.
Mr Agboola’s visit coincided with a verdict by the High Court that on Thursday dismissed an application from over 2,000 Nigerians who sought a share of the frozen Sh6.6 billion.
“CBK invited us in December to reapply for a money remittance and payments service provider licenses,” Mr Agboola said in an interview with the Business Daily in Nairobi.
In recent months, Mr Agboola’s reputation has stretched beyond his leadership at Flutterwave thanks to a personal investments spree in other African startups.
His Nairobi trip came days after revelations that the firm had Sh184.9 billion in 62 bank accounts spread across five banks in four years without the knowledge and licence from the CBK.
It was one of the three Nigerian fintechs that were at the centre of a complex money laundering probe in Kenya.
The three, including RemX and Kandon Technologies, were investigated by ARA on fears of card fraud and money laundering.
Flutterwave termed claims of financial impropriety in Kenya “entirely false”.
The firm said its operations were regularly audited and it continuously engaged regulatory agencies to stay compliant.
“Innovation in most cases is normally ahead of regulations and compliance is a journey that takes time. What we are doing now is bring in qualified global experts to strengthen our processes,” Mr Agboola said.
The Lagos-based company, founded in 2016, is now the biggest payments start-up on the continent. It has processed over 400 million transactions worth more than $25 billion in 35 African countries.
Justice Esther Maina rejected the application by Mr Morris Ebitimi Joseph on behalf of 2,468 Nigerian investors, saying there is no reason to grant the application, after ARA signalled its intention to withdraw the case against Flutterwave.
“I have carefully considered the application and my finding is that it has no merit. The ARA has intimated its intention to withdraw the petition,” the judge said.
The judge said the apprehension by the Nigerians that they would lose their money cannot stand in view of the decision by ARA to withdraw the case.
“The court sees no reason to grant the application sought,” she said.