The UBA Chairman, Mr Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has denied any involvement of the bank or himself in an alleged N41 billion fraud relating to NITEL in liquidation.
He described as false, baseless, and mischievous the allegation, saying neither him nor any of the organisations associated with him had ever been involved in or indicted for any fraud as was falsely alleged by Senator Ayo Akinyelure.
He has, therefore, demanded “an immediate open, public and unreserved retraction of the said statements credited to Senator Akinyelure and an apology from Senator Akinyelure for this false allegation and defamation,
Elumelu has also threatened to take all appropriate legal actions against Senator Akinyelure and his media agents if the demand was not met within seven days.
A strongly worded statement by Elumelu’s lawyers – Mr R.A. Lawal-Rabana (SAN) and Kemi Balogun (SAN) — said: “We write on behalf of Mr Tony O. Elumelu, CON, (our Client) whose attention has been drawn to several false online publications credited to Senator Ayo Akinyelure, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions alleging the involvement of UBA and indictment of Mr. Elumelu in a N41,000,000,000 (Forty One Billion Naira) fraud relating to NITEL in liquidation.
“Our client is shocked by this false, baseless, and mischievous allegation as neither him nor 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 Client over several decades with great personal sacrifice and unquestionable integrity.’’
“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,’’ the lawyers said in the statement obtained by Persecondnews.
The statement said when UBA appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, attention was drawn to the fact that the facts and circumstances leading to the disputes on the alleged financial indebtedness was pending before the Supreme Court in 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 a 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.
“Therefore, the publications ascribed to Senator Ayo Akinyelure are in total disregard of the Rules of Senate and the Rule of Law.
“We have our client’s further instruction to take all appropriate legal actions against Senator Akinyelure and his media agents if our above stated demand is not met within seven days of their receipt of our demand letter,’’ the lawyers said.