N41bn NITEL/MTEL fund: UBA has explanations to make, Senate insists

Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure has said the management of United Bank for Africa (UBA) has explanations to make over alleged withdrawals of N41billion from  N42 billion NITEL /MTEL accounts domiciled with it by liquidators of the telecommunication firms.

Akinyelure, who had penultimate week stated  that the UBA Group Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka, must appear before his committee  Wednesday last week over the alleged fraud,  toned down his voice in his latest statement on the issue.

It will be recalled that the planned investigation by the Akinyelure led committee fixed for Wednesday last week could not hold due to exceptions taken by the Chairman/CEO of UBA, Chief Tony Elumelu, to amplified allegations by  the Senator against the Bank.

Elumelu had in his reaction to the alleged N41billion scam against UBA, threatened to take up Akinyelure legally if the allegations were not retracted within seven days.

Though Akinyelure had last week said he was not perturbed by the threat, but in the latest  statement personally issued on the  contentious issue , he said what the committee wanted from UBA on the alleged N41billion withdrawals , was explanations to that effect .

The embattled lawmaker in the statement entitled: “Clarification of allegations of false and malicious publication against Chief Tony Elumelu, Chairman/CEO of UBA Plc,”  said his earlier submissions on the matter during media briefing were not meant to blackmail Elumelu or the bank but to let the general public know the allegations levelled against the financial institution.

“My action as the committee chairman to address the press is to distinguish between two petitions against UBA before it ,   and  not meant to cause malicious damage to the management at UBA Plc, having invited them for  a closed-door meeting twice to resolve the issues amicably without success.

“My media briefing was therefore never intended to blackmail or cause any malicious damage to the reputation of Chairman/CEO of  UBA Plc , Chief Tony Elumelu, 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,” he said.

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