12 years after a deal was announced between his record label, Trybe Records and IMAN Entertainment, a supposed entertainment company to enlarge the label’s footprint, Eldee Tha Don has gone public with the fraud that derailed his plans.
Eldee, who led Trybe Records, which once boasted of notable music stars like Sasha, 2shotz, Dr SID, Abounce, Sojay, K9 among others and producers like Sheyman and Sarz, said Platform Capital boss, Dr. Akintoye Akindele, was behind what turned out to be fraudulent.
Speaking with Teju Babyface in the latest edition of King of Talk, a YouTube podcast, on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, Eldee said Akindele and his allies deployed a venture capital vehicle to collect and misappropriate funds from investors while he, without suspecting any at the time, acted as face and voice of the brand without the promised injection of funds.
Eldee, who stylised the initials of his name, Lanre Dabiri, said it was music to his ears hearing about a venture capital company, Synergy Capital, showing a desire to partner with Trybe Records to expand the label’s network. Although he said he didn’t know much about the workings of the business world at the time, he was forced to spend money his own money often to deal with challenges until he realised what was going on.
“Sheyman, the artist, producer and entrepreneur, introduced me to a man by the name, (Akin)Toye Akindele at the time who at the time had a capital advisory firm. What do they do? They look for business, invest in businesses, and fund those. The thing for me at the time was ‘Oh, you have this thing going on, you got these artists, you’ve got the music, let’s partner and set up a bigger entertainment entity which was IMAN Entertainment. It was somewhere along the lines of the kind of expansion I was looking for so I said: ‘Yea, sure’.
“I already was making moves to blow up what I was doing a little more so it sounded interesting. They said they would put in so so million dollars, do this, do that blab bla. So I am on the board, unbeknownst to me, as it is said, what essentially was happening was him and his partners at the capital advisory firm, had people who were funding what was supposed to be Iman Entertainment. However, Iman Entertainment was not getting money but Eldee, who was the face of Trybe and IMAN, was basically everywhere trying to hold it all together,” Eldee, who also founded the defunct three-man music group, Trybesmen, stated.
According to Eldee, the alleged fraudulent actions of Dr Akintoye Akindele, who went on to float another venture capital vehicle, affected his life and strained the relationships he had with friends, associates and others within and beyond the Nigerian music industry.
“I had to pay money from my pocket, it affected relationships that I had, I get a little emotional about it now. And that’s because there were people caught in-between. The artists, the staff, the businesses, vendors and more. I kept telling them money would come. I had to dip into my accounts in the US, dip into my accounts in Nigeria. Mr Akindele and his partners kept assuring us. Where you were supposed to get $1million, you get 10,000. It went on until he got into trouble and he went on to float another entity to continue his business,” Eldee added.
From all indications, this may be another prominent account of how Dr. Akindele, currently being detained, defrauded unsuspecting Nigerians. If anything, this shows the allegations against him going by different accounts monitored online and especially in the social media space, may go well beyond alleged shares racketeering, manipulating boards, embezzling company funds, lavishing millions of dollars on junketing around the world, buying cars for girlfriends as some of what Eldee referenced in his account of the saga.