Alleged N41bn Fraud: Sen. Ayo Akinyelure Statement on Tony Elumelu is False, Malicious – Legal Team

The legal team of the former Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa, Mr Tony Elumelu has debunked allegations by the Senate Committee Chairman on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure who indicted Mr Elumelu of N41bn Telecommunications company and National Carrier, fraud, theft.

Akinyelure had alleged that the N41billion fraud was committed against the defunct National Carrier, NITEL.

He further alleged that the money was withdrawn systematically from NITEL for nine years under Tony Elemelu watch and two other former Managing Directors of UBA.

Akinyelure then added that United Bank for Africa withdrew the whopping N41 billion from the N42billion the liquidator of the defunct government owned telecommunications company deposited with the United Bank for Africa after being sold to MTEL by the then Bureau for Public Enterprise.

In a reaction to the report published by various news platform, (Not by The Street Reporters Newspaper), the Tony Elumelu’s legal team described the allegation as “False Malicious Publication”.

The letter signed by RA Lawal-Rabana, SAN, Chief Counsel and Kemi Balogun, SAN, Senior Balogun, and made available to the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) strongly debunked the story.

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The letter titled “False malicious publications by Senator Ayo Akinyelure against UBA PLC and its chairman, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON”, the legal team stated:

“We write on behalf of Mr Tony Elumelu CON (Our client) whose attention has been drawn to several false online publications credited to Senator Ayo Akinyelure, chairman of the senate committee on ethics, privileges and public relations alleging to the involvement of UBA and indictment of Mr Elumelu In a 41,000,000,000 (Fourty-one billion) fraud relating to NITEL in liquidation.

“Our client is shocked by this false, baseless, and mischievous allegation as neither him or any of the organisations associated with him has ever been involved in or indicted for any fraud as was falsely alleged by Senator Ayo Akinyelure.

“Our client is also alarmed and appalled by this deliberate peddling of falsehood and misinformation against an unblemished personal and business reputation, painstakingly built by our clients over several decades with great personal sacrifices and unquestionable integrity.

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“Our client rejects Senator Akinyelure’s attempt to use the platform of the respected institution of the Senate of the Federal republic of Nigeria to accomplish whatever ulterior motives he may have.

“It is important to emphasize that when UBA appeared before the Senate committee on ethics, privileged and public relations, attention was drawn to the fact that the facts and circumstances leading to the dispute on the alleged financial indebtness was pending before the supreme court in the SC/CV/112/2020.

“It was resolved that given the pendency of the matter at the Supreme Court, it was sub-judice and all actions on the matter be suspended. It is shocking and sacrilegious that the matter pending at the Apex court could be subjected to debate contrary to the rules of the Senate and by extension, the principle of law that when a matter is sub-judice, it should not be subjected to debate before a decision is reached by the court.

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“Therefore, the publications ascribed to Senator Ayo Akinyelure is in total disregard of the Rules of the Senate and The Rule of Law.

“Our client has instructed us to, and we have demanded an open, public, and unreserved retraction of the said statement credited to Senator Akinyelure and an apology from Senator Akinyelure for this false allegation and defamation of our client.

“We have our client’s further instruction to take all appropriate legal action against Senator Ayo Akinyelure and his media agents if our above stated demand is not met within seven (7) days of their receipt of our demand letter”, the letter read.

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