September 29, 2016 / 4:11 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Nigerian minister denies involvement in alleged MTN money transfer

(Adds details, quotes)

LAGOS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s minister for industry, trade and investment dismissed accusations on Thursday that he was involved in an alleged illegal transfer of $13.92 billion by South African telecoms giant MTN.

A parliamentary motion named Okechukwu Enelamah earlier this week, saying MTN had used him and others to move the money out of Nigeria between 2006 and 2016.

MTN denied the allegations on Wednesday and Enelamah’s office issued a statement a day later saying the accusations were “without merit and baseless”.

“At no time was Dr. Enelamah in a position to transfer funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN Nigeria, and at no time did Dr. Enelamah transfer any funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN Nigeria,” the statement added.

The Senate, parliament’s upper house, has agreed to investigate the allegations made by one of its members against MTN, which has suffered a series of setbacks in its biggest market.

The Senate’s move comes just three months after the South African firm agreed to pay a fine of 330 billion naira ($1.02 billion) to end a dispute over unregistered SIM cards.

$1 = 323.2500 naira Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Andrew Heavens

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