By Musa Baba Adamu
Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure ( PDP Ondo Central) , declared yesterday dared the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to carry through its threat of legal action over his planned probe.
The UBA had threatened Sen Akinyelure Chairs wichi suit over his Committee plan to begin probe of alleged N41billion withdrawn by the Bank without authorisation from accounts of Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NTEL) and Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTEL).
Sen Akinyelure had last week , alleged that UBA based on petitions before his committee, withdrew N41billion out of N42billion liquidators of NITEL and MTEL deposited in the bank without any authorisation from the liquidators .
On the strength of the petition, his committee summoned the Group Managing Director of UBA , Kennedy Uzoka to appear before his committee yesterday, August 5, 2020 for explanation on the alleged fraud .
But the UBA management led by its Chairman , Tony Elumelu, threatened Akinyelure with litigation if he fails to withdraw his allegations against the Bank within seven days .
Elumelu in the threat widely reported in the Media two days ago , said the Bank would not honour the Committee’s invitation since the issues at stake were already subject of litigation in the court of law .
In his reaction to the threat however, Sen Akinyelure vowed not to make any retraction of his statement against the bank last week or tender any apology .
He said the threat from UBA , would not stop his committee from forging ahead with the planned probe .
He said neither apology nor retraction , would be made by him as written petitions alleging UBA to had committed the N41billion fraud were in the possession of his committee .
He said: “ It has become necessary to let Nigerians know that the threat of UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu, against Distinguished Senator Ayo Akinyelure cannot debar the Distinguished Senator, who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions from carrying out his Legislative Duties.
“In as much as the Distinguished Senator appreciates those that had called since the news of Elumelu threat was made public in some dailies, he has assured the people of his Constituency in particular and Nigerians in general that he is not perturbed and will not because of a mere threat to jettison the oath of office he had sworn to.
“Akinyelure, who is a Chartered Accountant of over thirty years in practice, has always been on the side of truth and Justice and that was why the Senate President, Dr Lawan, found him worthy to reappoint him as the ombudsman of the Senate and voice of the voiceless Nigerians”.