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Nigeria problems mount as Buhari’s minister, Enelamah , Paschal Dozie, Oyebode, others fingered in $13.9bn fraudulent forex deals.
The hope that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is the one to rid Nigeria of corruption is fading by the day as a serving minister and change agent Okeychukwu Enelamah has been indicted in a fraudulent $13.92 billion forex deal.
This revelation that one of the change agents of the administration is enmeshed in such questionable deals has now compounded Nigeria’s problem with the hope of a revamp of the country hanging in the balance.
Others fingered to have colluded with the alleged deal that ran for 10 years beginning from 2006 to 2016, the current year are Paschal Dozie, chairman of Diamond bank, Gbenga Oyebode, chairman of Access bank, Victor Odili and Ahmed Dasuki among others.
The syndicate which the serving minister serves as its nucleus was aided by the MTN group under which guise, Enelamah and his cohorts claimed to have brought in foreign investment into the telecom firm.
They were assisted by the quartet of Diamond Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered bank and StanbicIBTC.
Of the total $13.92 billion, StanbicIBTC was responsible for $4.27 billion, Citibank $2.9bn, Standard Chartered $5.72bn and Diamond bank $1.03bn.
On his assumption of office on May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari was welcomed by myriads of challenges that have sent the country to its knees.
The nation has experienced mismanagement and corruption that characterized the oil boom era. The dysfunction came to light with the global oil price plunge that has left the treasury dry. Everything was in tatters with violence and blackouts becoming permanent feature of a country that was once a promised land but now a frustrated fortunes.
To fix the country, President Buhari needs change agents that align with the “Change” slogan that brought him to power. So he picked Okechukwu Enelamah as part of his cabinet with whom he hope to return Nigeria’s lost image and glory.
Enelamah is a popular name in the Nigeria economy. A graduate of medicine who left the business of saving lives for figures and money when he became a chartered accountants. Enelamah is popular owing to his involvement with the African Capital Alliance, an investment institution with hands in several businesses in the country.
Enelamah who is also a pastor in one of the popular Pentecostal churches in the country, got the nod to serve as minister in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration through the chief of staff, Abba Kyari. They all rode to power with its ‘change mantra’.
He sits on the ministry of industry, trade and investment which responsibilities is to assist in industrialising the country, make the country a destination for investments, change the course of the monolith economy and help create jobs and by extension, wealth.
His inclusion in the Buhari’s cabinet which carries the hope of re-orientating the citizens and the economy, has now turned a burden on the administration which its ‘anti-corruption crusade” has become its flagship.
These deals and other untoward in the economy, security sources noted have complemented the global oil price plunge in putting pressure on the foreign reserves with the attendant forex crisis which is currently crippling genuine businesses.
Sources in the presidency told InsideBusiness that “Giving Enelamah the duty of being a leading light in the current administration seems one of the undoing of the president”. He summed it up with a Yoruba adage, “the insects that destroy the vegetables live in it” ( Kokoro to n j’efo, wa l’ara efo).
He said Enelamah is a black sheep that ought to be facing prosecution over corruption charges. “He has helped in creating the forex crisis that the nation is grappling with”, he said.
InsideBusiness’ findings show it is no coincidence that majority of the firm’s involved are of South Africa origin. Three of the banks- StanbicIBTC, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank have their parent bodies in South Africa where MTN Group also came from.
Diamond bank, which is the fourth bank, and indigenous, has its umbilical cord from African Capital Alliance, on whose back, MTN Group rode to Nigeria in 2001 when they got the telecom sector was liberalised. Enelamah is one of the backbone of African Capital Alliance.
It is a carefully woven plot to fleece the foreign reserves of the country that is managed by the CBN.
Strategy
InsideBusiness’ findings show that companies were established outside the country and came to the country under the guise of coming with foreign direct investment into the Nigeria economy.
Enelamah claimed in one instance that he is a foreign investor from Malaysia using a company called Celtelecom Investment Ltd. The company claimed to have brought in $155,577.92 got a certificate of capital importation issued by StanbicIBTC bank and repatriated his dividend and investment totaling $142,806,071.66 within 24 hours thereby depleting the country’s foreign reserves fraudulently.
According to one of the several documents, the Certificates of Capital Importation (CCI) numbered 016150 with bank code 068 issued on February 7, 2008 to Celtelecom Investment Ltd of Mauritius (Enelamah’s company), the minister claimed to have brought $155,577.92 on February 7, 2008 to buy equity in the MTN group. The CCI was stamped by Standard Chartered Bank on Ajose Adeogun street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Interestingly, the same company, Celtelecom Investment ltd of Mauritius owned by Enelamah collected as proceeds for repatriation, the sum of $142,806,071.66 on same day of 7 February 2008 that the company claimed to have invested $155,577.92 on equity in the MTN group.
This in effect means that Celtelecom Investment invested $155,577 on 7 February 2008, traded on that same day, and together with its investment, made a proceeds of $142.806 million on same 7 February 2008.
Analysts in the banking industry told InsideBusiness that “it is not possible for a foreign investor to complete this cycle of bringing foreign capital to Nigeria, get his CCI within 24 hours, invest the Naira, make profits and repatriate the money same day.

Those familiar with how CCI is obtained noted that foreign exchange comes into the country through loans and equity and any foreigner that wishes to invest in Nigeria will send his foreign currency either by telegraphic transfer or other negotiable instruments.
This is then converted to Naira by a CBN appointed agent (local bank) who will give the Naira equivalent to the organisation that the foreign investor wishes to invest his money while the investor is issued a CCI by the local bank within 24 hours of the importation of currency.
Foreign currency imported into Nigeria and invested in any organisation in Nigeria is guaranteed unconditionalt transferability during repatriation by way of dividends or remittances of proceeds (net of taxes). The investor shall produce the CCI that was issued to him at the time he imported the capital into Nigeria, lodge his Naira ( dividend and capital sum) with the CBN and then complete FORM A ( issued by the CBN for invisible trade transaction) and the CBN will remit his foreign currency to his account abroad by debiting our national reserves at the prevalent official exchange rate.
According to the Form A with application number 1314613 ( for Invisible Trade Transactions) which was completed in duplicate and endorsed by an official of IBTC-Chartered Bank Plc with the bank’s stamp on 8 February 2008, Enelamah’s company, Celtelecom Investment of Mauritius was paid a total sum of $142.806 million through telegraphic transfer at the Exchange rate of N118.55 to a dollar, the official rate at that time.
The Form A with the IBTC Chartered Bank’s Authorised Dealer’s code of 221 showed the address of Celtelecom Investment as 608, St James Court, St. Dennis street, Port Louis In Mauritius.
The company and Enelamah however, in item 3 that required the particulars of the foreign investors or beneficiary, did not state the passport number, company registration number or the number of the certificate of incorporation of the company as requested by the CBN on the form.
Enelamah who signed the item 7 on the form which says “I declare that the above statements are true and that the foreign currency will be used solely for the purpose stated in accordance with the approved guidelines” adding that “Any false declaration will make me liable for prosecution”. With this form, the sum of $142.806 million was repatriated into Enelamah’s company account number 7240970 in Barclays Bank, Mauritius Intenational Banking division, 6th floor Harbour Front Building, John. F. Kennedy street, Port Louis, Mauritius.. The swift code was BARCMUMUOBU with account number 28037304495.
The correspondent bank is Barclays Bank, New York, swift code BARCUS33 and account number 026002574.
Enelamah confirmed that the $142.806 million was for “proceeds from private placement of linked units of MTN Nigeria” in a letter written on Celtelecom Investment limited letterheads to IBTC Chartered bank, Walter Carrington crescent, Victoria island Lagos.
A highly placed official at the Department of State Service (DSS) told InsideBusiness under anonymity that investigation has since been concluded and the report which has the input of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also told our correspondent that some of the documents had been shown to the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo who heads the economic committee to intimate him of the discovery on Enelamah. Sources in the Vice-President office also confirmed the development to InsideBusiness and noted that Osinbajo had confronted the minister with the capital importation certificate (CCI) and other documents linking the minister to the deals.
“The EFCC and the DSS have since wrapped up investigation and had submitted the Executive summary to the president. The vice-president had also been intimated of the discovery on one of their acclaimed change agents”, the source at the DSS noted.
Sources at the DSS also hinted that the deal could not have progressed through the 10 years without the assistance officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
” CBN officials are expected to verify the claims of the foreign investors before approval is given for the dollar equivalent to be taken out of the foreign exchange reserves” noted the DSS official.
The deal went on between 2006 and 2016 running through the tenure of three CBN Governors including Charles Soludo who came in 2004 and left 2009. Lamido Sanusi Lamido was appointed 2009 and left in 2014 when he was suspended and the current the governor, Godwin Emefiele who took over in 2014 and expected to leave 2019.
Efforts to get Enelamah to comment on this were not successful. Enquiries were sent to the minister via his email address on September 11, 2016 on his involvement with Celtelecom Investment ltd of Mauritius. The minister is yet to respond up till the time of this report.
Equally, enquiries to the spokesperson of MTN NIgeria, Funsho Aina through his email address and phone messages were also not responded to.
Sources at MTN however told InsideBusiness that the DSS have invited top management officials of the telecom firm about four times during investigation of the issue.
Also, enquiries at StanbicIBTC showed that its group managing director, Sola David Borha had also been invited by the DSS to defend her bank in the deal which is creating ripples in the presidency.


Implication for MTN, StanbicIBTC.
Analysts said the revelations will put more pressure on both MTN and StanbicIBTC, the two companies with parent bodies in South Africa. The two are currently under sanctions of regulatory agencies in the country.
While MTN is still battling with the balance payment of the fines on it by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) of which an agreement has been reached and part payment made, StanbicIBTC is under regulatory order of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria for certain infractions observed in its 2013 and 2014 accounts. The bank is to pay N1 billion fine in addition to billions of dollar that it is expected to repatriate to Nigeria economy.
This is Trending. God help Buhari.

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