MTN Files 9,100-Page Document To Prove N3bn Suit Against AGF

Alleged $1.3bn Tax Assessment: Court To Rule On AGF, MTN’s Case In May

 

MTN Nigeria Communication Limited has filed a 9,100-page document in court to prove its N3bn claim against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Copies of the bulky document were brought in a coaster bus and delivered to the registry of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday.

The telecommunications firm had last year sued Malami over a letter in which he demanded that they pay N242bn and $1.3bn as import duties, withholding and value-added taxes – a move which the firm’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), described as ‘malicious, unreasonable and one made on an incorrect legal basis’.

According to Olanipekun, Malami acted beyond his powers and violated the provisions of Section 36 of the constitution on fair hearing with “the purported revenue assets investigation” he carried out on the firm’s activities covering 2007 to 2017.

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He, therefore, urged the court to award N3bn against Malami as general and exemplary damages.

The trial judge, Justice C.J. Aneke, had in May dismissed the preliminary objection filed by Malami, challenging the competence of the suit.

“From the endorsement on the writ, this suit was commenced on September 10, 2018 and a simple calculation shows that from August 23, 2018 when the cause of action arose to September 10, 2018, when the suit was instituted, a period of three months had not expired, as envisaged, for the suit to be statute barred,” Aneke ruled.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the case, however, stalled with Justice Aneke adjourning till January 30, 2020.

Alleged Non-Remittance: Environmental Activist Wants EFCC, AGF To Probe Shell

An environmental activist and legal practitioner Anderson Achilike has in a suit called on the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, and the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited.

Achilike in the suit filed on Wednesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja sued Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria limited over alleged non-remittance and under declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment; instigation of acts of pipeline vandalism; oil theft; third party interference in trunk line operations; incessant cases of fire outbreak.

Achilike said he filed the action “as a matter of urgent national importance to save the dwindling economic fortunes of the country from acts capable of undermining the future of Nigeria.”

READ ALSO: 9,000 Megawatts Energy Required To Transform Lagos, Says Sanwo-Olu

Therefore, he is praying for “an order directing and compelling the EFCC as a designated financial intelligence unit in Nigeria, acting with or through the attorney-general of the federation, to carry out an investigation of shell  over cases of non-remittance and under-declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment, third party interference in its trunk line operations, monumental shortfall in crude oil production, poor economic revenue, pipeline vandalism, disruption of oil production, destruction of oil installation and  economic sabotage  in Nigeria.”

He is also seeking “an order directing and compelling the EFCC to carry out a quantitative investigation of the amount or quantity of crude oil coming into or supplied to and exported from the Shell‘s Forcados and bonny oil terminals and Bonga FSPO vessel as well as the amount of crude oil, claimed to have been or supposed to have been, exported from the said terminals from 1st January, 2001 to 31st August 2019.

The plaintiff is also praying for “a declaration that the EFCC being a designated financial intelligence unit in Nigeria, acting with or through the AGF and/or other security agencies, has the bounden statutory duty to investigate various acts and/or allegations of commission of economic crimes by shell against the federal government of Nigeria through its non-remittance and under-declaration of crude oil exportation and shipment, various acts of self-induced oil theft. pipeline vandalism, disruption of oil production, destruction of oil installation, economic sabotage etc.

The matter is yet to be assigned to a date or a judge.

 

Court Orders AGF, EFCC To Stay Action On Yari’s Properties

Banditry: Yari Commends NAF For Air Strikes In Zamfara
Governor Abdulaziz Yari addressing State House correspondents after meeting with the President in Abuja on January 3, 2019.

 

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has reaffirmed its order directing the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to take further steps in the move to seize the property of the immediate-past Governor of Zamfara State, Mr Abdulaziz Yari.

Justice Nkeonye Maha in a short ruling on Thursday maintained that doing so would not be in the interest of justice now that the matter was pending before the court.

She also ordered that the case file be remitted to the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, for re-assignment to a regular court on the ground that the tenure of the vacation court would end on September 13.

The case has now been adjourned to September 30 for the hearing of both the preliminary issues and the substantive suit.

Mr Yari, in his supporting affidavit, blamed his travails in the hands of the prosecution agencies on the activities of some purported powerful politicians who were on a vendetta mission against him over the 2019 elections in Zamfara.

Specifically, the former governor stated that the political events within the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which eventually led to the party losing out the leadership of the state to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the judgment of the Supreme Court, was the main reason for his prosecution.

SERAP Asks AGF To Adopt Public Registers For Corrupt Officials

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abukabar Malami (SAN), to adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Sunday by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare.

The agency urged the AGF to use his good offices and leadership to “move swiftly to develop and adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption since the return of democracy in 1999”.

It also urged Mr Malami to ensure that the public registers contain accurate data and are fully accessible and open to public scrutiny.

Read the full statement below.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Mr Abukabar Malami, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, urging him to use his good offices and leadership to: “move swiftly to develop and adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption since the return of democracy in 1999.

SERAP said: “We urge you to ensure that the public registers contain accurate data and are fully accessible and open to public scrutiny. Aspects such as the scope of the registers, who to include in the registers, and eligibility for removal from the registers, can be discussed in a consultative session with the civil society and other stakeholders.”

In the letter dated 23 August 2019 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The proposed registers are far from severe, and would be a proportionate response to the grave crime of grand corruption and impunity of perpetrators and have a deterrent effect. There can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in matters already exposed to public viewing such as prior arrest, charges and conviction records.”

The organization said: “Public registers for high-ranking officials facing corruption charges and those convicted of corruption would be a pivotal moment in the fight against corruption by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the damage caused by graft to citizens’ human rights and Nigeria’s democratic process.”

SERAP also said: “The proposed registers for corrupt officials would serve a public interest purpose similar in some respects to the recently disclosed names and details by the United States Department of Justice of 80 defendants, most of whom are Nigerians, that have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and other charges.”

The letter read in part: “SERAP is concerned that corruption is so pervasive across many states and at several levels of governance and has remained a constant feature of Nigeria’s political scene since 1999, turning public service for many into a kind of criminal enterprise. Grand corruption has continued to fuel political violence, deny millions of Nigerians access to clean water, and even the most basic health and education services, and reinforcing police abuses and other widespread patterns of human rights violations.”

“The lack of public registers containing detailed information about high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of corruption since 1999 has allowed many politicians—often with impunity–to use apparently illicitly acquired wealth to fund political parties, build corrupt patronage networks, thereby preventing fair access to economic and political power, serving to further the wealth and power of ruling elites, and exacerbating inequality.”

“Registers would help protect the public from corrupt officials and their collaborators and improve the ideal of representative government, as it would assist the citizens to properly exercise their right to participate in their own government.”

“Public registers would improve transparency by making it easier for the public to track the government’s fight against corruption and make the government as open as possible in its anti-corruption efforts. SERAP urges you to push for legislation that will require public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption at the federal, state and local government levels to put their names in the public registers.”

“Everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state or by any other person, which is reasonably required for the exercise or protection of any rights, including those of citizens’ right to human dignity and freedom from corruption.”

“Registers for corrupt officials would also address the paucity of information about politicians and others complicit in the mismanagement of the country’s natural wealth and resources, with devastating consequences for citizens’ enjoyment of their human rights.”

“Many citizens lack knowledge and awareness of those charged with and convicted of grand corruption, and those that are complicit in the mismanagement of the country’s wealth and resources.”

“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in developing and adopting public registers for corrupt officials and proposing legislation on the matter, as appropriate. We would be happy to provide further information or to discuss any of these issues in more detail with you.”

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
25/08/2019

Why Some Individuals Remain In Custody Despite Bail – Malami

 

The immediate past Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has explained why some individuals remain in custody despite being granted bail by competent courts of jurisdiction.

During his ministerial screening at the floor of the Senate on Friday, Malami said the office of the AGF has the responsibility to always protect the interest of the public over that of individuals.

“The office of the Attorney General is meant to protect the public interest and where the individual interest conflicts with the public interest, the interest of 180 million Nigerians that are interested in having the country integrated must naturally prevail.

“I think that position has been very well stated by the apex court in the case of Asari Dokubo VS the Federal Republic of Nigeria that when an individual’s interest conflicts with public interest, the public interest will naturally prevail,” he said while responding to the question asked by Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, of why some persons remain in custody despite being granted bail.

Read Also: Senate Screening Of Ministerial Nominees Continues (DAY 3)

A section of the Senate, however, did not agree with his response, but Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, in his defence said the former AGF had answered the questions “satisfactorily”.

He also stated that contrary to the Senate’s agreement to screen each individual for about an hour, Malami had been screened for over an hour and should, therefore, be allowed to “take a bow”.

Meanwhile, Mr Malami also outlined some of the successes recorded during his time in office.

Some of them included a 159 per cent increase in recoveries, discovery of 230,000 ghost workers, enforcement of the BVN, Nigeria’s joining of the International Open Government Initiative and the establishment of the Whistle Blower Policy.

He said if returned as a minister he will ensure better collaboration between the arms of government and a commitment to public interest.

Hadi Sirika was the next ministerial nominee to be screened.

Others also expected to be screened today include Festus Keyamo, Geoffrey Onyeama, Lai Mohammed, Raji Fashola and Paullen Tallen.

Falana Writes AGF, Requests Release Of 10 People From ‘Navy Detention’

Falana Writes AGF, Requests Release Of 10 People From ‘Navy Detention’

 

Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana, has called for the release of 10 civilians detained by the Nigerian Navy.

He made the call in a letter addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation () and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

In a copy of the letter sent to Channels Television on Sunday, Falana said the detainees were intercepted by naval personnel aboard a vessel hijacked by a gang of pirates in October 2018.

READ ALSOFalana Condemns 7-Month Detention Of Civilians, Military Personnel Without Trial By Navy

He added that while the detainees were rescued and the pirates arrested, the crew members who were not indicted in the investigation conducted by the navy into the hijacking of the vessel have since been detained aboard the ship.

The lawyer stressed that the action of the security operatives was a breach of the detainees’ fundamental rights to personal liberty and fair hearing as provided for in the Constitution.

He also decried that apart from detaining the crew members in “a dehumanising military facility,” they have been compelled to wear the same dress for seven months.

According to the senior advocate, since the detainees are civilians who are not subject to service law, the navy ought to have reported them to the police if there was reasonable suspicion that they committed any criminal offence whatsoever.

He, therefore, urged the AGF to direct the naval authorities to release the detainees from custody without any further delay.

Read Falana’s letter below:

May 10, 2019

The Attorney-General of the Federation

& Minister of Justice,

Federal Ministry of Justice,

Maitama District,

Abuja, FCT.

Request for the release of 10 civilians detained by the Nigerian Navy since October 27, 2018

We have confirmed the illegal detention of another group of 10 Nigerian citizens aboard a ship in Marina, Lagos since October 27, 2018, on the orders of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas. The names of the detainees are:

Oloyede Ademola Yisau;

Omogoye Wasiu Bolaji;

Edu Fidelis;

Richard David;

Mike Simeon;

Umoren Daniel;

Okoghene Asaiki

Udom Victor;

James Archibong;

Umon Godswill Emmanuel

At the time of the arrest of the detainees seven months ago, they were crew members aboard a vessel known as “NESO II” which was hijacked by a gang of pirates. However, the detainees were rescued while the pirates were arrested by the Beecroft Naval Base. Curiously, the crew members who were not indicted in the investigation conducted by the Nigerian Navy into the hijacking of the vessel have since been detained aboard the ship in Marina, Lagos in breach of their fundamental rights to personal liberty and fair hearing guaranteed by Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended).

Apart from detaining the crew members in a dehumanising military facility the Nigerian Navy has compelled each of them to wear the same dress for seven months. Thus, the fundamental rights of the detainees to dignity and freedom of movement have also been violated. Since the detainees are civilians who are not subject to service law the Nigerian Navy ought to have reported them to the Nigeria Police Force if there was reasonable suspicion that they committed any criminal offence whatsoever.

However, in view of the fact that the detainees have not been charged with any criminal offence before any competent court we are compelled to request you to direct the Chief of Naval Staff to release them from unlawful custody without any further delay. We also request you to use your good offices to prosecute the Chief of Naval Staff for subjecting the detainees to physical and mental torture contrary to the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.  

Take notice that if you fail to accede to our request within 48 hours of the receipt of this letter we shall not hesitate to file an application at the Federal High Court to secure the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the detainees to personal liberty, dignity, fair hearing and movement and seek an order of mandamus to compel you to prosecute of the Chief of Naval Staff.

Finally, since the country is under a democratic dispensation we urge the Federal Government to sanction members of the Nigeria Police Force, Armed Forces and other security agencies who engage in the incessant arrest and detention of innocent citizens without any legal basis.

Yours sincerely,

FEMI FALANA, SAN, FCI Arb.

AGF Assures Federal Workers Of Promotion Arrears Payment

AGF Assures Federal Workers Of Promotion Arrears Payment

 

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, has reassured civil servants in the country of the continued payment of promotion arrears owed Federal workers.

He gave the assurance recently when he received the National Executive of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) in Abuja.

The nation’s treasurer revealed that the President had directed that N10 billion be set aside monthly, commencing from May 2017 to offset backlog of Promotion Arrears.

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He said the office of the AGF, thereafter, inaugurated an in-house committee to verify MDAs’ claims and submissions.

“The committee has saved over N37 billion from misapplications, paddings, mistakes and non-compliance by MDAs to the agreed template,” Idris was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday by the OAGF’s Head of Press and Publicity, Oise Johnson.

He added, “So far, the committee has paid out the sum of N42 billion out of the N55 billion released, leaving an outstanding of N13 billion in cash while a total of N35 billion is yet to be released to the office”.

The AGF promised to bring the concerns of the association to the notice of the Minister of Finance, as well as dialogue with the Director General of the Budget Office.

He explained that this was to ensure that the government continues to keep its part of the agreement reached with the association in order to ensure industrial harmony.

The nation’s treasurer also the leadership of the association for their understanding and support in the implementation of government’s plans and programmes, saying without industrial harmony no meaningful development can be achieved.

Speaking on behalf of the ASCSN National President, the Vice President of the association, Bola Innocent, praised the AGF for displaying professionalism in managing the nation’s treasury.

Alleged $1.3bn Tax Assessment: Court To Rule On AGF, MTN’s Case In May

Alleged $1.3bn Tax Assessment: Court To Rule On AGF, MTN’s Case In May

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed May 7 for ruling on a preliminary objection filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, against telecoms giant, MTN.

In September 2018, MTN had instituted a suit to challenge the legality of the AGF’s assessment of its import duties, withholding tax and value-added tax in the sums of N242bn and $1.3bn.

The AGF had, however, contended that MTN’s suit was instituted outside the time prescribed by law.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, counsel to the AGF, Tijani Gazali, who argued the preliminary objection urged the court to strike out the suit filed by MTN.

Gazali argued that the power of the AGF to write a letter to MTN for the payment of the import and withholding tax was included under Section 2A of the Public Officers Protection Act.

He said, “MTN filed this case as a result of a letter written by the AGF asking MTN to the pay tax due to the Federal Government of Nigeria over the past 10 years, but rather than responding to this directive they instituted this case.”

In the preliminary objection, the AGF’s counsel argued that the plaintiff in seeking redress on the subject matter, has just three months – from the date the cause of action arose – to institute the action.

He contended that the plaintiff commenced the suit in clear disregard of Section 2 of the Public Officers Protection Act, which provided that any action commenced against a public officer must be made within three months from the commencement of a cause of action.

The Gazali said the plaintiff’s failure to commence the suit within three months as stipulated by law robbed the court of jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

He, therefore, urged the court to strike out or dismiss the suit.

MTN, through its lawyers, led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Wole Olanipekun, told Justice Chukwujeku Aneke that the objections of the AGF was unfounded.

Olanipekun contended that the era of claiming that a suit was stature barred had been abolished in the Nigerian jurisprudence.

He cited Order 29 Rule 4 to the effect that the preliminary objection of the AGF was filed out of time and since there was no application for extension of time, it must fail.

The SAN also submitted that there was no competent application before the court.

He argued that the court cannot at this stage dismiss or strike out the suit without the evidence of parties.

Olanipekun then asked the court to dismiss the objection as being frivolous.

After listening to the arguments of both parties, Justice Aneke fixed May 7 for his ruling.

INEC To Announce Final Decision On Zamfara APC Today

Underage Voters: INEC Probe Committee Lacks Credibility – PDP
File photo

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will today make known its final decision on the participation of the All Progressives Congress in the general elections in Zamfara State.

A source at the INEC headquarters told Channels Television that the leadership of INEC remains focused on its mission to deliver a free, fair and credible election in the country but would not go against the law in doing so.

Conflicting judgments had emanated from the courts over the participation of Zamfara APC candidates in the elections.

While the Zamfara State High Court declared the primaries as valid and asked INEC to recognise candidates submitted by the APC, a Federal High Court in Abuja declared the primaries invalid.

Consequently, INEC which had earlier announced that it would not recognise the APC candidates in Zamfara State who were produced after the time stipulated for primaries, said in the face of the conflicting court judgements, its position on the matter remained the same.

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has reportedly written a letter to INEC demanding a postponement of the National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the state.


RELATED:

AGF Asks INEC To Recognise APC Candidates, Postpone Polls In Zamfara
General Elections: Appeal Court Dismisses Case Against Zamfara APC Candidates


The reported move by the AGF followed the decision of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division yesterday, which dismissed an appeal challenging the qualification of candidates put forward by the APC for various offices in Zamfara State.

 

A three-member panel led by Justice Jummai Sankey unanimously dismissed the appeal following its withdrawal by the appellant, Aminu Jaji, a governorship candidate in the state.

Although the Appeal Court in Sokoto did not order INEC to accept the list of candidates from Zamfara APC, the AGF in his reported letter asked INEC to grant an extension of time for Zamfara APC on the grounds that the Appeal Court upheld the validity of the Zamfara State candidates.

AGF Chairs Presidential Committee On Autonomy Of State Legislature, Judiciary

AGF Chairs Presidential Committee On Autonomy Of State Legislature, Judiciary
(File) Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a Presidential Implementation Committee on Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, explained in a statement on Sunday that the committee was set up in accordance with the ‘4th Alteration to the 1999 Constitution’.

The committee is chaired by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, with the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, as its secretary.

Adesina said the purpose of the committee was to drive the actualisation of the autonomy granted to the legislature and judiciary at the state level.

Representatives of state judiciary in the committee include the chief judges of Kogi and Bayelsa states – Justice N Ajanah and Justice K Abiri.

Others are Grand Khadi of Gombe State Sharia Court of Appeal, Kadi Abdullahi Usman, and the acting President of the FCT Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Abbazih Sadeeq.

State legislatures are to be represented by the Chairman of Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria and Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, as well as Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Abel Riah.

The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) is to be represented by Marwan Adamu; Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Bala Hadi; Body of Chairmen of Houses of Assembly Service Commissions, Musa Agwai.

The committee also has as members Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, Senator David Umaru; and House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Federal Judiciary, Aminu Shagari; as well as the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Secretary of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Others members are DG of the Nigerian Governors Forum or such other representative as the forum may wish to nominate; Chairman of the Forum of Finance Commissioners in Nigeria; President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro; and Chike Adibuah who is to represent Civil Society Organisations.

Adesina disclosed that the terms of reference of the committee include to assess and review the level of compliance by all the 36 States of the Federation with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He added that the committee would monitor, ensure and cause the implementation of financial autonomy across the judiciary and legislature of the 36 states, as well as consult and relate with the appropriate federal and state MDAs.

The presidential aide explained that the committee would ensure and where necessary enforce the implementation of the constitutional provision, and come up with appropriate modality or model to be adopted by all the states of the Federation for implementation and/ or compliance with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He said President Buhari would formally inaugurate the committee in due course.

MTN Seeks Court Injunction Against CBN, AGF

MTN Reacts To CBN Sanction, Insists Paid Dividends Were Approved

 

MTN Nigeria has sought an injunction from the Federal High Court restraining the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from taking further action against the company over allegations of illegal funds repatriation, among others.

In a statement on Monday, the telecommunications company reiterated that the allegations were false and that it had decided to head to court in order to protect the company’s assets and shareholder rights within the confines of the law.

“In order to protect MTN Nigeria’s assets and shareholder rights within the confines of the law, we have applied today in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for injunctive relief restraining the CBN and the AGF from taking further action in respect of their orders, while we continue to engage with the relevant authorities on these matters”.

The CBN had alleged improper dividend repatriations by MTN Nigeria and requested that $8.1 billion be returned “to the coffers of the CBN”.

The AGF, on the other hand, alleged unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports of up to $2 billion and asked that the taxes be paid back to the Federal Government.

Read Also: FG Asks MTN To Pay Tax Arrears Of $2bn

However, in a statement on Tuesday (September 4), MTN rejected the claims, stating that it had fully settled all amounts it owed the government under the taxes in question.

Furthermore, in a statement on Monday (September 10), the company said, “The simple reality is that MTN Nigeria has never repatriated dividends on the CCIs referenced by the CBN and that MTN is fully compliant with Nigerian tax law.

“With situations like this, it is vital for both the government, regulators and the company to have absolute clarity on the nature of both the allegations being made and the processes that are being followed.

“In the absence of this clarity, our only option is to seek judicial intervention and to ask the courts to act as adjudicator. This has been done today.”