MTN Nigeria is in big mess as the company is now moving from frying pan to fire. The Senate told Nigerians that it had engaged the services of foreign forensic experts and lawyers to probe the $13.9bn allegedly transferred from Nigeria by MTN Nigeria illegally.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim revealed that: “As you know, the allegation is very weighty. It is a weighty allegation and we are going to deal with a lot of documents; these are documents that are about 16 years old. Based on that, we have got the approval of the leadership (of the Senate) and we have engaged international and local forensic experts – accountancy experts and lawyers. The team has been fully assembled since two days ago and it has started working.”
“We are not taking this like a normal, periphery investigation because it will involve a lot of documents – banking transactions of many years. We have engaged them and they are on the ground. We will be starting the investigative hearing tomorrow (Thursday) to listen to each one of them. They (the team) will now take it from there. That is how far we have gone.”
The senator disclosed that the panel has invited the following people and companies to appear before it; Dr. Pascal Dozie, Col. Sani Bello (retd.), Dr. Okechukwu Elenemah, Ahmed Dasuki, Gbenga Oyebode, Babatunde Folawiyo and Victor Odili, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank.
For those who don’t know, it was Senator Dino Melaye who revealed that MTN illegally repatriated the sum of 13.92 billion dollars out of the country through its bankers thus violation of Nigeria Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act.
The lawmaker alleged that MTN transferred the money through Stanbic IBTC, the sum of $4.87bn; Standard Chartered Bank, $5.72bn; Citi Bank, $2.98bn; and Diamond Bank, $0.35bn.
The senator added that MTN, which is headquartered in South Africa, was incorporated in Nigeria as a private Limited Liability Company on November 8, 2000 and obtained its operating licence with $284.9m on February 6, 2001, alleged that the company did not request the Certificate of Capital Importation for the transaction.
The senator said, “The Senate observes that MTN did not request for the Certificate of Capital Importation from its bankers, Standard Chartered Bank, within the regulatory period of 24 hours of the inflow. The Senate observes also that the CBN was not notified of this inflow by Standard Chartered Bank within 48 hours of receipt and conversion of the proceeds to naira as required by regulations.”
“It further observes that the sum of $117,683,987bn was also brought in by MTN between 2001 and 2003 in three different tranches. It is concerned that since inception, MTN had sought the collaboration of influential and unpatriotic Nigerians to assist them in looting our external reserves.”
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