A coalition, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to commence investigation into an alleged money laundering against the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah and telecommunication service provider, MTN.
In a petition forwarded to the anti-graft agency and signed by the group’s chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC said it is demanding the prosecution of banks and individual found to have participated directly or indirectly in this alleged crimes.
The network said it took its cue from the September 27, 2016 report of Premium Times, where the online newspaper reported a motion moved on the floor of the upper Chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate, towards probing money laundering allegations against the Minister and MTN.
It noted further that the Senate 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 evolved after Dino Melaye’s motion, alleging MTN of connivance with “some influential and unpatriotic Nigerians” to illegally repatriate the money out of Nigeria between 2006 and 2016, in violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act.”
CSNAC said it was also reported that Mr. Melaye named Mr. Enelamah as one of the influential Nigerians who worked with MTN to transfer the huge amount out of Nigeria. He stated that the accused “floated and incorporated offshore SPVs (special purpose vehicles) in Cayman Island, Mauritius and British Virgin Island” and the Central Bank of Nigeria was also not notified of the capital flight within 48 hours as required by regulations. He further stated that in breach of Nigerian laws, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank and Diamond issued $4.87 billion, $5.72 billion, $2.98 billion and $0.35 billion to MTN for repatriation “illegally and this is not healthy for a country that is struggling respectively to come out of its economic meltdown,”.
“Thus, this scenario facilitated the Senate mandating 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, described the allegations as “weighty”, but no specific time frame for the committee headed by Rafiu Ibrahim to submit a report.”
On a similar note, CSNAC said it had earlier forwarded petition against MTN to your office (titled INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTIVITIES OF MTN NIGERIA ON ALLEGED ECONOMIC FRAUD & NON REMITTANCE OF ACCURATE TAXES dated 10th November, 2015), we hereby use this petition to serve as a reminder and call to action on this issue and others raised in the previous petition.
“CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding that a full scale investigation be launched into the activities of MTN in view of this weighty money laundering allegations, as well as the prosecution of banks and individual found to have participated directly or indirectly in this alleged crimes.
“This will go a long way in serving as deterrent and also send a strong message to would be economic fraudsters operating within the system that Nigeria is no longer a haven for such criminal economic activities and that our economy will no longer be left at the mercy of economic saboteurs,” the anti-graft agency said.