Reuben Nwankwo(Abuja)

Sen Ayo Akinyelure.

The Senator representing Ondo Central in the upper legislative chamber of National Assembly and Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and public petitions Sen Ayo Akinyelure has described as false and malicious a publication of 3rd August 2020 on Nation newspaper where United Bank for Africa (UBA) made an allegation against him and his committee on indictment of Mr. Toney O. Elumelu in a (N41,000,000,000) (Forty One Billion Naira) fraud relating to NITEL in liquidation.

According to the senator, there are two separate petitions relating to NITEL/MTEL before the senate committee on Ethics privileges and public petitions for consideration.

  1. The petition by Liquidators of NITEL & MTEL – Messrs Otunba O. Sonbore against UBA for refund of N685,390,365.25 excess Bank charges against NITEL and MTEL account in liquidation. This case has been appealed against by United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and is now in Supreme Court for adjudication hence in line with Senate rules the petition before the Committee of the Senate was stepped down.
  2. The second petition on this before the senate was referred to the committee on 1st July, 2020, via a petitions written by J.U. Ayogu Esq – a Human Right lawyer on behalf of the creditors of the liquidated NITEL and MTEL against the Managing Director of UBA Plc for deliberate denial of payment of over N41, Billion withdrawn from various accounts of NITEL without provision of tickets for withdrawals as follow:
  3. N29,882,868,204.17 on NITEL account 1142030000705 was withdrawn without authorization and non-provision of tickets up till now
  4. N11,6272,467,105,19 withdrawn by UBA Plc without authorization from account 1003537230 which was the closing balance of the account on liquidation, N169,128,039.24 withdrawn from NTEL Plc account 100729072 without authorization and non-provision of tickets up till now.
  • N22,948,854.73 also withdrawn without authorization and without provision of tickets up till  now, N6,866,171.71 transferred to AG’s Office without authorization to be reversed back to account, just to mention but a few.

The above transaction was not a subject of court action at all and therefore the committee only called UBA Plc management to come and justify their actions for not providing tickets for un-authorization withdrawals and to show court processes if any on the above that will justify the committee from further investigating the circumstances for non-reversal of outstanding amount back to the customer’s account. This was the basis of the committee’s action to call the Group Managing Director of UBA Plc to appear before the Committee on 5th August, 2020 to demonstrate to Nigerians that the 5 items described above is also before Supreme Court for adjudication. The Liquidator also ascertained that they are not in Court with UBA Plc on all the 5 items described above. “My action as the Committee Chairman in addressing the press is to distinguish between the 2 cases and not meant to cause malicious damage to the Management of UBA Plc, having invited them for a closed-door meeting twice to resolve the issues without success. My media briefing therefore is never intended to blackmail or cause any malicious damage to the reputation of UBA Plc or any of its officials but our responsibilities to the whole Nigerians as democratically elected representatives of the people in the legislature to fight for their rights where we feel that their rights have been infringed upon. My attention to the press is based on the documents that originated from  UBA Plc itself via a letter referenced No: UBA/Audit/I&FM/15/722 dated September 18, 2015 addressed to EJAAC & partners Limited, Benue Plaza, Plot 72, Kar Mohammed Way/Ahmadu Bellow Way, CBD, Abuja” Senatoe Ayo stated.

The senator reiterated that his position as the chairman of the senate committee of Ethics, privileges and public petitions is to use alternative dispute resolution to resolve issues as much as practicable in the interest of all Nigerians and call on UBA Plc management to offer explanation necessary to resolve this issues permanently without further delay. In concluding, the senator added that he also used this medium to let the public know that due to ongoing annual recess of the National Assembly the scheduled public hearing slated for today 5th August 2020 has being put on hold till further notice.

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