March 28, 2022
The Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Distinguished Senator Ayo Akinyelure has unraveled a syndicated fraud perpetrated for nine consecutive years by United Bank for Africa (UBA).
According to the revelation on Tuesday while speaking with our reporter, UBA defrauded the liquidated Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) of about N41 billion from N42 billion, the fund that the liquidators of the telecommunications company deposited there after being sold to MTEL.
The petition written on behalf of NITEL/MTEL by J .U Ayogu and Co. Upper legislative chamber’s Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions formed the strength of the alleged fraud and the Group Managing Director (GMD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bank, Kennedy Uzoka, has been summoned to appear before the committee unfailingly on August 5, 2020.
Senator Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central) while briefing journalists alleged that the fraud perpetrated by UBA against NITEL and MTEL between 2006 and 2015 after liquidation involved several unauthorized withdrawals from the accounts of the liquidated telecommunications companies at four different times by technically stealing N41billion out of N42 billion liquidators of the forms deposited there.
According to him the petition revealed clearly that UBA withdrew N29 billion, N11billion, N6.8million and N22million intermittently between 2006 and 2015 from the accounts without relevant tickets or authorizations for that purpose.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions also added that liquidators of the firms according to the petition alleged that UBA have been hiding under litigated N685million it withdrew from the accounts
“Being a committee adhering strictly to Senate rules, the litigated N685million is not part of what the UBA is being invited for despite even losing to NITEL liquidators at both the Federal High Court and Appeal Courts .
Senator Akinyelure further stressed the Committee’s right of investigation under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, and admonished that this right will be applied to the fullest on the fraud alleged because most owners of the stolen monies by UBA are dying while those alive are under financial stress, he said .
He further explained that UBA promised they would provide the tickets for the intermittent withdrawal of N22.5billion withdrawn from NITEL accounts without authorisation.
According to the Committee, a human rights lawyer had sent a petition on behalf of the liquidators and creditors of NITEL and MTEL, that if the N685m is a subject of litigation, there is a third account meant for taxation and disasters which has N169m.
The fund was unilaterally withdrawn by the UBA. Seven years after the withdrawal, UBA is yet to provide the tickets, rather they were asking the liquidators to get the tickets from dead liquidators.