.I didn’t transfer any fund on behalf of MTN – Minister
ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, ABUJA
Senate on Wednesday disclosed that the services of foreign and local forensic experts have been engaged in order to unravel alleged $13.9 billion Money Laundry by Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN)
Red Chamber had summoned the management of MTN Limited, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) ,The Committee also summoned Citibank, Diamond Bank, Citibank, and Stanbic IBTC bank over their participation in the alleged Capital flight of $13.9 billion.
Also, the Minister of Trade and investment, Okechukwu Elenemah Ahmed Dasuki, Babatunde Folawiyo, Victor Odili, Dr. Pascal Dozie and Colonel Bello Sani are expected to appear before the Senate’s Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions Thursday.
They are expected to explain alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act.
However, addressing journalists, chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Adebayo said the committee has already the engaged the of Foreign and local forensic experts to unravel alleged $13.9 billion capital flight by MTN in collaboration with Stanbic IBTC, chartered Bank, Citi Bank and Diamond bank
He said the committee has written MTN and it’s promoters and stakeholders to appear before the Senate committee
Adebayo said, the allegation is weigthy one that involves the repatriation of $13.9 billion illegally out of Nigeria by MTN through his bankers between 2006-2016.
Adebayo added some organisations have already submitted their submission to committee’s secretariat.
Also, speaking during the briefing, Senator Dino Melaye said the preliminary investigation revealed that the money is higher than $13.9 billion.
It would be recalled that Senate last week mandated its Committee to unravel alleged $13.9 billion moved from Nigerian economy by Mobile Telecommunication Nigeria (MTN) in collaboration with some fraudulent Nigerians, including a serving Minister, facilitated by four commercial banks in the country.
This move was sequel to a point of order raised by Senator Dino Melaye who came through order 42, in seeking a motion to unravel the fraud to the Senate.
“Mr. President, I seek the indulgence of this house to move that after this short presentation this matter be allowed to be taken on the next legislative day. My respected colleagues MTN Nigeria paid a sum of $284.9 million on February 6, 2001, to purchase their licence of operations in this country.
“I want to say with facts which by the grace of God I will make available on the next legislative day if this motion is allowed, to all senators to see evidence that between 2006 and 2016 through four Nigerian banks and indeed a serving minister of the federal republic of Nigeria and some other fraudulent Nigerians. MTN have moved over $12 billion out of Nigeria and that is about half of our external reserves.
“If I get the nod of the Senate, I will want to bring a substantive motion on Tuesday the next legislative day with substantiated facts to buttress this position”, he said.
The Senate accordingly granted his request by slating next Tuesday for hearing and substantive debate on the motion.
“Distinguished colleagues, according to our rules Order 42, Senator Dino Melaye raised this issue and he needs to get the leave of the Senate to bring it down to the next legislative day which he has now done,” said the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Trade and investment, Okechukwu Elenemah has disclosed that at no time did he transfer any funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN.
Elenemah made this known in his response made available to Daily Champion over alleged Capital flight of $13.9 billion dated 7 October said it is important to note that investors did not have responsibility for the remittance of proceeds from the company they invested in.
The letter reads:”I was never appointed as a Director of MTN at any time:
“I have never held any share directly in MTN since inception to date and
” In consequence of (2) above I have never earned any dividend directly from MTN shares.
“It is also pertinent to point out that l was never the “owner” of Celtelecom Investment Limited (“Celtelecom”) or a shareholder in Celtelecom as recorded on pages 402 and 403 of the Votes and Proceedings of the Senate of Tuesday 27th September 2016.
“Between 1998 and 2015, I served as the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of African Capital Alliance (“ACA”). ACA is a leading pan-African investment firm sponsoring funds and managing investments in Sub-Saharan Africa Two funds managed by ACA. together with some individuals and entities. invested in MTN. with Celtelecom as the investment vehicle I served as a director of Celtelecom representing the ACA managed funds
“Contrary to the record on page 403 of the Votes and Proceedings of the Senate of Tuesday, 27th September 2016. I have never claimed that l invested in MTN on 7th February 2008 neither did i obtain a Certificate of Capital Importation on 7th February 2008. The investment by Celtelecom in MTN was made in 2001. The Form A dated 7th February 2008 that i signed in my capacity as a Director of Celtelecom was to enable the processmg of payments due from the sale of part of its shares in MTN as evidenced by the letter to lBTC Chartered Bank Plc dated 7 February 2008.
“it is also important to note that investors do not have responSibitity for the remittance of proceeds from the company they invested in. Therefore; at no time was i ever in a position to transfer funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN, and at no time did I transfer any funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN
“i trust that you will give the above necessary consideration as you conduct your investigations.
“Please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”