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Stanbic Bank awaits Senate decision on MTN’s $13.9bn probe



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Following the indictment of Stanbic IBTC Bank in the months long probe of the repatriation of $13.9b by MTN Nigeria between 2006 and 2016 at the floor the Senate, the bank has said it is waiting for an official communication from relevant bodies of the government and lawmakers.

However, industry pundits who weighed the terse response of the South African bank were divided on whether the bank had perfected arrangement to argue whatever may be the content of the highly expected communication from Senate Committee or any of the anti-graft agencies.

MTN spokesman, Chris Maroleng, had earlier confirmed that the telecoms giant; by virtue of Senate Committee ruling, has been exonerated and that Stanbic IBTC Bank is aware of the Senate’s statement and is “awaiting formal communication from the relevant committee.”

MTN had since the beginning of the probe, stood on the fact that it never erred in any law of the land in repatriating the fund as it complied with all available financial rules and regulations of Nigeria in the transactions.

The Senate Committee had on Wednesday last week ruled that there were no “proofs of collusion to contravene the foreign exchange laws,” saying even though there was evidence of massive capital outflow, “That alone is not conclusive that a crime has been committed.”

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Besides, the Senate asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to take measures against Stanbic IBTC Nigeria Plc “for improper documentations” regarding capital repatriation and loan repayments.

The lawmakers also made it clear to the apex bank to take steps to enforce foreign-exchange laws to deal with known deficiencies.

The first revelation of the matter was blown open by vociferous Kogi State senator, Dino Melaye, who at the floor of the Senate more than one year ago, accused MTN of illegally repatriating $13.92bn over a decade starting in 2006.

His presentation and the volume of money involved attracted nationwide analysis against the telecoms, thereby triggering the investigation by the Senate Committee.