The Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, has denied any involvement in the alleged illegal repatriation of over $13 billion by telecom giant, MTN.
Mr. Enelamah was accused of collaborating with MTN to take the money out of Nigeria.
In his letter to the Senate committee investigating the allegations, Mr. Enelamah denied any involvement in the alleged repatriation.
In the letter HMITI/GEN.CORR./VOL.1/, dated October 7, Mr. Enelamah said that he was never involved with MTN as he had never been a director of the company.
He said he had neither had any engagement with the company nor earned dividends.
“I was never owner of Celtelecom Investment Limited or a shareholder in Celtelecom as recorded on pages 402 and 403 of the Votes and Proceedings of the Senate of Tuesday, September 27.
“Between 1998 and 2015, I served as the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Alliance, a wholly owned subsidiary of African Capital Alliance (ACA), an investment company.
“Two funds managed by ACA together with some individuals and entities invested in MTN with Celtelecom as the investment vehicle; I served as a director in Celtelecom representing the ACA management fund.
“I have never claimed that I invested in MTN neither did I obtain a Certificate of Capital Importation on 7th February 2008; the investment by Celtelecom in MTN was made in 2001.
“The Form A dated 7th February 2008 that I signed in my capacity as a director of Celtelecom was to enable the processing of payments due from the sale of part of its shares in MTN.
“This is evidenced by the letter to IBTC Chartered Bank Plc dated 7 February 2008,” he said.
He urged the Senate to note that investors do not have responsibility for the remittance of proceeds from the company they invested in.
“So at no time was I ever in the position to transfer funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN and at no time did I transfer funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN,” he said.
An investigation by the Senate into the allegations continues on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Rufai Ibrahim, said his committee had hired international and local forensic experts to assist in the investigation
Mr. Ibrahim said that the experts had arrived Nigeria and were already working with other local forensic experts to uncover any hidden details from the documents that had been submitted.
“The Senate sees this as very important, it is a weighty allegation and we are going to deal with a lot of documents spanning 16 years,” he said.