Senate probes money laundering allegation against Minister, MTN

Senate Chamber

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.

Photo: The Guardian
Okechukwu Enelamah Photo: The Guardian

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.


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  • wazobia ninja!!!!!!

    mtn comes from a country with on of the stiffest monetary controls ………………………………………….. if this actually happened,the banks involved should be penalized and made to bleed blood ……………………………..

  • Emmanuel

    Can we trust the body that is setting up the probe panel?

    • utolason

      No, we can’t!

    • forestgee

      The allegation is out we should all follow it to the end….to know the truth

    • GameChanger

      You people are not serious! You can trust the minister to connive with MTN, but can’t trust the senate proving them.. Yet we’re under an anti-corruption government?

  • A Aminu

    I don’t trust any words or allegations from from this corrupt senator Dino Malaye. It is a standard dictum in law that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. Sen Dino has many uninvestigated allegations of corruption against him, and until such allegations are investigated, and he comes out clean, I will think twice before I believe him.
    Secondly, recession set in not in 2006 but as recent as 2016, what the senator was talking, is a longer period of 10 years, the time of which things are well and good for such outflow. When did it become an offence to repatriate hard earned money, by a multi-national company. The senate should not waste precious time and money on this allegation, coming from a questionable character like this corrupt senator.