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Forensic experts trailing MTN’s $13.9bn transfer as actors meet Senate today

International and local forensic experts hired by the Senate to track the alleged wiring of $13.9bn by MTN Nigeria and others in the last 10 years started work since Monday this week, ahead of today’s meeting with the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions.

This was the revelation of the Committee Chairman, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim while briefing journalists at the National Assembly yesterday.

He said “As you know, the allegation is very weighty. It is a weighty allegation and we are going to deal with a lot of documents; these are documents that are about 16 years old. Based on that, we have got the approval of the leadership (of the Senate) and we have engaged international and local forensic experts – accountancy experts and lawyers. The team has been fully assembled since two days ago and they have started working.

“We are not taking this like a normal, periphery investigation because it will involve a lot of documents – banking transactions of many years. We have engaged them and they are on the ground. We will be starting the investigative hearing tomorrow (Thursday) to listen to each one of them. They (the team) will now take it from there. That is how far we have gone.”

It would be recalled that the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly had begun a probe into the $13.9bn MTN allegedly transferred illegally from Nigeria to other countries between 2006 and 2016.

Following Senator Dino Melaye’s expose on the floor of the red chamber earlier on, the Senate had last Thursday summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria, the MTN management, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, three commercial banks and some businessmen over an alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act.

Others expected to appear before the panel also include Dr. Pascal Dozie, Col. Sani Bello (retd.), Dr. Okechukwu Elenemah, Ahmed Dasuki, Gbenga Oyebode, Babatunde Folawiyo and Victor Odili.

Some of the financial institutions invited for hearing include Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank.