In another move, the board sent Chief Fonancial Officer Ike Okphala, a longtime ERHC employee, to Nigeria to head its "imminent" operations there, the company said. The CFO post was abolished, and replaced with a Vice President (Finance) position to be filled by Franklin Ihekwoaba, a former Priceaterhousecoopers and Primerica executive and a U.S. citizen.
Clement Nwizubo, a New York CPA, is the other new director and new Audit Committee chairman. CEO Walter Brandhuber and longtime ERHC employee Nicolae Luca were replaced on the Audit Committee by independent directors Howard Jeter, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Andrew Uzoigwe and Nwizubo.
The changes seem to be aimed at making ERHC Energy a more conventional and accountable company within the new regulatory schema of the SEC.
Here is the release:
ERHC Announces Appointment of New Directors and Reconstitution of Audit Committee
Thursday March 30, 5:55 pm ET
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 30, 2006--On 25th March 2006, the board of Directors of ERHC Energy Inc. ("ERHC," "the Company") (OTCBB:ERHE - News) took the following actions:
The number of members on the board of directors was increased from five to seven. Two new directors, Clement Nwizubo, CPA and Franklin Ihekwoaba, CPA were appointed to fill the vacancies resulting from the increase. Mr. Nwizubo shall serve as a non-executive director while Mr. Ihekwoaba shall be an executive director.
The audit committee of the Company, made up of Walter Brandhuber and Nicolae Luca, both not being independent directors within the meaning of the regulations, was dissolved and a new audit committee constituted. The new audit committee is made up of the Howard Jeter, Andrew Uzoigwe and Clement Nwizubo. Mr. Nwizubo, being a person qualified to be audit committee chairman and financial expert was appointed the chairman and financial expert of audit committee.
A new executive position of "Vice President (Finance)" was created in the Company's executive structure to subsume and replace the current position and title of "Chief Financial Officer." The holder of the new position of Vice President (Finance) shall be the chief financial and principal accounting officer as well as treasurer of the Company. The holder of the new position shall be a member of the board.
Mr. Ike Okpala, the holder of the defunct position and title of "Chief Financial Officer" resigned from the position immediately before its vacation by the board and was re-assigned to the Company's imminent operations in the Nigeria - Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Zone ("JDZ"). Mr. Franklin Ihekwoaba was appointed the Vice President (Finance) of the Company, in which capacity he becomes the chief financial and principal accounting officer as well as the treasurer of the Company.
Mr. Nwizubo, 54, is currently President of Clement E. Nwizubo, CPA, PC, a New-York based firm which he founded in 1987. From 1985 to 1987, Mr. Nwizubo was the Manager of Financial, Accounting and SEC Reporting at Primerica Corporation. From 1983 to 1985, he was the Audit Manager of Watson Rice and Company. Between 1980 and 1983 he worked as a senior accountant with Stewart Benjamin and Brown. Mr. Nwizubo is a Certified Public Accountant. He took a BS in Accounting and Business Administration in 1977 from Oneonta State College, NY and an MBA in 1980 from Fordham University. Mr. Nwizubo is a US citizen.
Mr. Franklin Ihekwoaba, 42, worked as a Group Head, Strategy, Finance and Risk Management in Oando Plc, Lagos, from December 2004 to December 2005. Prior to that, he had worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited in Nigeria from October 2001 to October 2004. From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Ihekwoaba worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Arlington, VA as a senior consultant. He was a consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Washington DC, during 1998. From 1994 to 1998, he had served as Interim Director, Finance and Accounting, of Blackhawk, Suitland, MD. He was a financial consultant at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD, from August 1997 to August 1998. From 1992 to 1997, he was an accountant with the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission, Kensington, MD. From 1989 to 1992, he was accounting manager at the St John's Child Development Center, Washington DC. From 1988 to 1989, he was a property accountant at ADM Property Management and Development, Washington DC. Mr. Ihekwoaba has a B.S. Accounting and Finance from the University of Minnesota, which he took in 1987. In 1992, he took an MBA in Financial Management and, in 1993, an MBA in Computer Information Systems from Southeastern University. He has attended financial analysis courses at the Harvard Business School. Mr. Ihekwoaba is a US citizen.