Odu-Dua Housing Association is embarking on an extensive programme of improvement and renewal following the dismissal of its Chief Executive earlier this month and a court judgement last week upholding the CEO’s removal.
In the coming weeks the Association will modernise its governance arrangements, re-focus on services to tenants and tenant involvement and embed a culture of transparency and openness.
In respect of governance reforms, Odu-Dua will upgrade its rules to the National Housing Federation Model Rules 2011 and at the same time adopt the NHF Code, Excellence in Governance undertaking a rigorous programme of compliance testing including independent external scrutiny. The Board will build-up and refresh its membership in a planned way following a Board appraisal process as longer serving Board Members retire in accordance with the NHF’s recommended nine-year limit. There will be no repeat of the situation where the previous Chair John Oke and Board Member Efua Taylor knowingly served well in excess of the nine-year rule.
The renewed focus on tenants includes a comprehensive review of customer facing services and the establishment of a customer panel and tenants’ forum to ensure a wide range of tenant voices are heard.
“The court decision last week agreeing our claim and dismissing our former CEO’s counter claim against Odu-Dua, brings to a close a difficult and distracting episode for the Association,” said Odu-Dua Chair and tenant Board Member Sandra Brown. “We are now re-focussing our attention on our tenants and on the urgent task of ensuring the governance of Oda-Dua and the services we provide are of the highest quality.”
In a Court Judgement on February 20th Judge Nigel Gerald upheld Odu-Dua’s decision to suspend and subsequently dismiss Lara Oyedele for gross misconduct and dismissed her counterclaim for repudiatory breach of contract arising from a breach of Odu-Dua’s rules.
“The facts of this matter are that the former CEO stopped recognising the Board of Odu-Dua despite receiving legal advice which confirmed that it was legal and could act and sought to establish her own board in its place having joined the camp of the former Chair whom she thought had been done a wrong” added Leslie Laniyan, Company Secretary. “Using what are ultimately tenants’ resources was not something that the Board of Odu-Dua took lightly but we had to act to protect the interests of the association in response to what the judge termed the most serious act of gross misconduct when describing the former CEO’s actions in taking possession of the office on 14th November. The Judge recognised the Board was placed in an impossible position by the former CEO and her suspension and subsequent dismissal were justified and unanswerable.”
Odu-Dua was awarded damages as well as all its legal costs, in addition, both Ms Oyedele and her false board were refused Leave To Appeal.
For more information contact Odu-Dua Housing Association, 020 7625 1799.