Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has clarified the responses given by its Chief Executive Officer, Olayinka Sanni at a Senate Hearing on the alleged illegal repatriation of funds by MTN.
According to the bank, Sanni who spoke on behalf of the bank at the hearing, reiterated the fact that Stanbic IBTC was ready to cooperate fully with the Senate (as it had been doing with the DSS) in ensuring that the truth in respect of the transactions done on behalf of MTN were unearthed. Mr. Sanni told the committee that the investigations are welcome and will help show that Stanbic IBTC has done nothing wrong and has operated to high levels of governance and ethics
He noted that Stanbic IBTC had provided all the necessary documents that the Senate had requested for.
He also mentioned that Stanbic IBTC had handled on behalf of MTN, its private placement when the original shareholders of MTN divested part of their shares in the company.
One of the senators at the hearing who had asked a couple of questions on other issues that were not connected with the MTN transactions had Sanni provide responses to them.
The Senate hearing was declared opened by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Sola Adeyeye who represented the Senate President.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions (the Senate Committee investigating the allegations) Senator Rafiu Ibrahim had in his opening remarks, stated that the essence of the Senate investigation was to enable the Senate understand how the transactions in questions were handled. He assured all those that had been invited for the hearing that it was not a witch hunt but a fact finding exercise.
He stated that the public hearing was the first stage of the investigation process; the second stage would involve a comprehensive review of the documents submitted by all parties and would involve each party being invited on an individual basis to provide clarification on the documents submitted and answer necessary questions from members of the Senate Committee and the consultants that had been employed for this exercise.
Afterwards, the Senator who sponsored the motion that gave rise to the investigation, Senator Dino Melaye gave an overview of the purported issues with the repatriations that were done by MTN and its bankers.
The first person that was called to speak in line with the Order of Proceedings that was followed by the Senate Committee was Mr. Jim Obaze of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and he spoke about the functions performed by the FRC. He went on to add, at the prompting of the Chairman of the Senate Committee, that it was the weak accountability of the regulatory agencies that gave rise to some of the purported issues.
The acting CBN Director of the Trade and Exchange Department (Mr. Gotring) who represented the CBN Governor was next to speak. He was questioned about the role of the CBN in approving some of the transactions and the oversight responsibility that the CBN played in respect to the MTN transactions.
The acting Director also shared a report that the CBN had previously prepared when an investigation was carried out on the MTN transactions with the Senate Committee. He explained that the report had also been given to the Department of State Services (DSS) as part of the DSS investigation.