UBA Denies Involvement in N41bn NITEL Liquidation Scam

Tony Elumelu UBA

By Dipo Olowookere

A few days ago, there were reports in a section of the media that the Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr Tony Elumelu, was allegedly involved in a N41 billion fraud, with respect to the defunct Nigeria Telecommunication Company (NITEL).

According to the reports, Mr Elumelu was indicted for the alleged scam alongside some of the principal officers of the financial institution.

But in a statement, the lender said the reports were “untrue, misleading, malicious, libellous and should be disregarded in its entirety.

In the statement signed by the company secretary, Bili Odum, UBA said as a “reputable global brand and responsible corporate citizen, operating in multiple jurisdictions,” it will “continue to conduct its business in line with global best corporate governance practices, extant laws and regulations, as it has done in over 70 years of operations.”

The lender also emphasised that it has already “set in motion all appropriate legal actions to ensure that the misleading reports are retracted and the perpetrators held accountable for their actions.”

In the reports UBA reacted to, it was alleged that the issue happened when Mr Elumelu was the Managing Director of the bank and that the money was allegedly withdrawn by the bank without appropriate approval.

The reports quoted the Senate Committee Chairman on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Mr Ayo Akinyelure, as saying that “the N41 billion alleged fraud was committed against the defunct telecommunications company and national carrier, NITEL.”

“The said sum was withdrawn systematically from NITEL for nine years under Tony Elemelu watch and two other former Managing Directors of United Bank for Africa,” the federal lawmaker was further quoted as saying.

According to the reports, in view of this, the senate committee has summoned the Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, to appear before it on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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