The Senate on Tuesday resolved to investigate allegations of $13.92 billion illicit financial flow involving telecommunications company, MTN, four banks and the Minister for Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.
The resolution followed a motion by Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi West) who said MTN connived with “some influential and unpatriotic Nigerians” to illegally repatriate the money of Nigeria between 2006 and 2016, in violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act.
Mr. Melaye named Mr. Enelamah as one of the influential Nigerians who worked with MTN to transfer the huge amount out of Nigeria.
He said the accused figures “floated and incorporated offshore SPVs (special purpose vehicles) in Cayman Island, Mauritius and British Virgin Island”.
Mr. Melaye said the Central Bank of Nigeria was not also notified of the capital flight within 48 hours required by regulations.
He said in breach of Nigerian laws, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank and Diamond respectively issued $4.87 billion, $5.72 billion, $2.98 billion and $0.35 billion to MTN for repatriation “illegally”.
“This is not healthy for a country that is struggling to come out of its economic meltdown,” Mr. Melaye said.
The Senate mandated its committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to “carry out a holistic Investigation into the matter and report back”.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who described the allegations as “weighty”, did not give a specific time frame for the committee headed by Rafiu Ibrahim (APC-Kwara) to deliver a report.