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$3.9B Capital Flight: Senate Hires Foreign Forensic Experts To Probe Minister, Others


Ayodele Afolabi

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, has flown in International Forensic Experts for probe of the alleged $3.9billion Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN), the current Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah and others carried out between 2006 and 2016.

The Minister of Trade and Investment has however denied involvement in the alleged scam, through a letter he forwarded to the Committee’s Chairman, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim (APC Kwara South).

Addressing the press on Wednesday on the probe exercise which begins today, Senator Ibrahim said the International Forensic Experts would collaborate with local ones in unearthing the alleged fraud due to the weight of the allegation.

He said: “The committee has also written to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria for information on the matter. This is because the MTN and its bankers are in clear violation of Section 15 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act, 1995. Memoranda 20 and 22 are relating to the purchase and sale of Securities and Direct Foreign Capital Investment in Nigeria respectively.

“As you know, the allegation is a weighty one that involves the repatriation of $13.92 billion illegally out of Nigeria by Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTN) through its bankers between 2006 and 2016”.

Besides MTN, other corporate organizations and individuals listed to appear before the committee include Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank and Diamond Bank.

According to the committee, some of the promoters of the corporate organizations to appear before the committee include Dr. Pascal Dozie, Ahmed Dasuki, Gbenga Oyebode, Babatunde Folawiyo, Mohammed Sani Bello, Victor Odili and Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Elenemah.

In his denial, Enelamah in the letter written to the Committee’s Chairman said he was never appointed as a Director of MTN.

He also stated in the letter dated 7th October, 2016, that he never held any shares directly in MTN since inception to date. He also denied ever earning any dividend directly from MTN shares.

The letter reads in part: “It is also pertinent to point out that I was never the owner of Celtelecom Investment Limited or a shareholder in Celtelecom, as recorded on pages 402 and 403 of the Votes and Proceedings of the Senate of Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

“Between 1998 and 2015, I served as the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited, a wholly subsidiary of African Capital Alliance (ACA).

“ACA is a leading pan-African investment firm sponsoring funds and managing investments in Sub-Sahara 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, September 27, 2016, I have never claimed that I invested in MTN on February 7, 2008 neither did I obtain a Certificate of Capital Importation on February 7, 2008.

“The investment by Celtelecom in MTN was made in 2001. The Form A dated February 7, 2008 that I signed in my capacity as a Director of Celtelecom was to enable the processing of payments due from the sale of part of its shares in MTN, as evidenced by the letter to IBTC Chartered Bank Plc, dated February 7, 2008.

“It is also important to note that investors do not have responsibility 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”.

Problem for Enelamah and others, arose from adoption of a motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West), by the Senate.

Dino in the motion alleged that over $13.9billion was fraudulently transferred out of Nigeria by MTN and collaborators within between 2006 and 2016 and consequently called for probe, which made the Senate to saddle its Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions with the exercise.


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