MTN Sues CBN, AGF over $10.1bn Demand

MTN Nigeria has filed a suit seeking a restraining order against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the attorney-general of the federation.

The telecom giant is seeking an injunctive relief to protect its assets and shareholder rights in a suit filed in Lagos on Monday,

In a statement, MTN said it continues to “categorically and unequivocally” deny all charges related to investigations by the CBN and AGF into the company’s CCIs and unpaid taxes respectively, TheCable writes.

This comes after the CBN accused MTN of illegal dividends repatriations, requesting that $8.1 billion be returned to the coffers of the banking regulator.

Furthermore, the AGF said MTN had unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports approximately $2.0 billion.

Tobe Okigbo, MTN Nigeria corporate relations executive, said: “The allegations being made involve issues that appear to be complex and so are easily misunderstood and misinterpreted. They are made even more confusing when the relevant authorities send conflicting messages and instructions and act in a way that appears un-coordinated and at cross purposes.

“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.”

The company said it would continue to engage with the relevant authorities to resolve the issues which saw its shares tumble to a 9-year-low a fortnight ago.

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