The Senate has begun investigation into the alleged repatriation of $13.9 billion by MTN with hiring of international forensic lawyers, accountants and other experts to assist in the investigation.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Rufai Ibrahim, disclosed this while briefing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr. Ibrahim said that the experts had arrived Nigeria and were already working with other local forensic experts to uncover any hidden details from the documents that had been submitted.
“The Senate sees this as very important, it is a weighty allegation and we are going to deal with a lot of documents spanning 16 years.
“Based on that we got the approval of the leadership of the Senate and we have engaged international and local forensic experts, accountants and lawyers.
“The team has been fully assembled and they have started working; this is not going to be a normal periphery investigation because it involves a lot of documents.
“We will be starting the investigative hearing tomorrow, we will listen to each one of them and we will take it from there,” he said.
The chairman also disclosed that many private individuals and government agencies had been invited to brief it on Thursday.
He said that some of those invited had already submitted requested documents and had indicated their willingness to be at the hearing.
Among the invitees are MTN, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic Bank which had submitted their documents as well as Ahmed Dasuki and Sani Bello who did not submit any document.
Others expected to appear before committee are Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; Paschal Dozie, a former Chairman of Diamond Bank, and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.
Others listed to appear are Gbenga Oyebode and Victor Odili.
Dino Melaye, who blew the whistle on the alleged repatriation, expressed happiness that the Senate had taken the matter seriously.
“I can tell you that even preliminary investigations have revealed that the $13.9 billion is far lower to what the outcome will look like.
“We have realised from these preliminary investigations that it is actually outrageously higher than the $13.9 billion,” he said.
Mr. Melaye said that the committee showcased sincerity in its approach and he was confident in the committee and the Nigerian Senate in investigating the matter.
He assured that at the end of the investigation, the alleged money would be returned to the country’s foreign reserves.