Former MD of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has denied allegations of his alleged involvement in a N41 billion fraud committed against the defunct telecommunication company, NITEL
Elumelu in a letter drafted by his lawyers, also gave the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public petition, Ayo Akinyelure, seven days to retract his comments linking him to the fraud and also tender an apology
The committee had alleged that UBA defrauded NITEL of about N41 billion from N42 billion that liquidators of the telecommunications company deposited there after being sold to MTEL. The allegation was made on the grounds of petitions forwarded to it to that effect by J .U Ayogu and Co, on behalf of NITEL/MTEL .
“A human rights lawyer had sent a petition on behalf of the liquidators and creditors of NITEL and MTEL, that if the N685million is a subject of litigation, there is a third account meant for taxation and disasters which has N169million. It was also unilaterally withdrawn by the UBA. Seven years after the withdrawal, they’ve not provided the tickets, instead, they were asking the liquidators to get the tickets from the dead liquidators, which is wrong. They had yet to provide the tickets.
“In another account which had N29 billion, UBA also unilaterally withdrew the money from NITEL accounts without authorisation tickets. Most of the creditors of NITEL have sued the liquidators that they’ve collected money from the UBA without paying them. There is another MTEL account N11 billion withdrawn by the UBA and it has not been accounted for till today.” Akinyelure had told journalists
The lawmaker also said when the Senate wrote the UBA management, they responded that the matter was in court.
Mr Elumelu’s lawyers, Lawal Rabana and Oluwakemi Balogun, described the allegation as false.
“It is shocking and sacrilegious that a matter pending at the Apex Court could be subjected to debate contrary to the Rules of the Senate and by extension, the principle of law that when a matter is subjudice, it should not be subjected to debate before a decision is reached by the Court. Therefore, the publications ascribed to Senator Ayo Akinyelure is in total disregard of the Rules of Senate and the Rule of Law,” part of the letter read.
The lawyers demanded an immediate open, public and unreserved retraction of the statements by Mr Akinyelure and an apology.