Prominent business tycoon Abinet Gebremeskel has been taken into custody as police launches investigation over allegations of crimes on a property he co-owns with his former close confidant Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi (Sheikh).
Abinet is suspected of illegally transferring some of the properties belonging to Bole Towers Plc solely to himself through collaboration with public officials, without consent from majority stakeholder Al-Amoudi.
Bole Towers Plc was established two decades ago, with Al-Amoudi controlling a 60 percent stake and Abinet the remaining 40 percent. Abinet also served as the general manager of the company since its inception.
However, a court mandated last year that Abinet step down from managerial position for failing to carry out his managerial duties properly. The court also ordered an independent audit of financial records.
Sources close to the situation revealed to The Reporter that federal investigators opened a probe after receiving tips alleging Abinet colluded with public officials to seize control of land and building properties under the purview of Bole Towers.
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“Abinet was detained for acts he performed relating to his responsibilities at Bole Towers,” the source said. “The investigation focuses on allegations that he transferred the company’s properties into his own name with the help of government officials.”
The investigation continues as Abinet is detained at the federal police’s criminal investigations headquarters in Addis Ababa’s Mexico Square area. Sources disclosed that Abinet appeared before a judge on October 6th, 2023.
Amare Ashenafi, the founder and deputy managing partner of 5A Law Firm, which has represented Abinet in previous court disputes with Al-Amoudi, verified that he attended Abinet’s hearing on Friday as his legal counsel. However, Amare refrained from divulging further case specifics, citing the ongoing judicial proceedings.
Bole Towers Plc’s holdings, located off Africa Avenue in the Wollo Sefer area, encompass over 5,000 square meters of land. So far, Bole Towers has developed two towers on the sizable property – Bole Towers A and B.
The two business partners had cultivated a close personal and professional relationship spanning over three decades through their business dealings. However, their ties began deteriorating in July 2021 when Al-Amoudi terminated Abinet’s role as Chief Executive Officer of the MIDROC Ethiopia Group and revoked his power of attorney.
Aside from their ongoing legal disputes over Bole Towers PLC, which has embroiled them in court battles for several years, Al-Amoudi now has only one remaining business tie to his former partners Abinet Gebremeskel and Tadesse Tilahun – their shared ownership of National Oil Company (NOC).
Abinet and Tadesse each maintain a 15 percent ownership stake in NOC, while Al-Amoudi retains the majority 70 percent stake.
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