Senate summons MTN to explain money laundering
From AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Senate has petitioned mobile network operator, MTN Nigeria, to appear before it and explain the alleged repatriation of N13,9 billion (US$125,7 million) as alleged by a legislator.
Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, recently made the allegations of money laundering, claiming the offence was done over the last decade in connivance with four commercial banks and a serving minister.
MTN and the current Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enalemah, have denied the allegations.
However, on Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions Abdurafiu Ibrahim, disclosed the organ had written MTN, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank Nigeria Ltd and Stanbic Bank to appear before it on Thursday.
“The allegation is a weighty,” committee chairman, Abdurafiu Ibrahim, said at the National Assembly.
“So the Senate view it as a very serious assignment and has engaged the service of international experts and they are now on ground,” Ibrahim added.
The identity of the experts could not be ascertained.
Ibrahim disclosed MTN and the banks had submitted documents to the committee and has promise to attend their hearing.
Elenemah did not submit any document but sent a letter to the committee
denying involvement with MTN.
Senate has previously expressed discontent at the reduction of the record fine slapped on MTN for failure to disconnect over 5 million unregistered customers.
Last year, the Nigeria Communications Commission fined the firm $5,2 billion. It was later reduced to $1,7 billion.
The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), has also filed a N16 billion lawsuit on MTN over alleged copyright infringements. – CAJ News
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