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MTN Nigeria heads to High Court

MTN Nigeria heads to High Court

MTN Nigeria has applied to the Federal High Court of Nigeria for injunctive relief from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Attorney General of the Nigerian Federation (AGF)'s orders.

According to a statement issued by MTN Group yesterday, CBN has alleged improper dividend repatriations by MTN Nigeria and requested that $8,1 billion be returned "to the coffers of the CBN".

"At the same time, the AGF has alleged unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports, and has demanded that approximately $2,0 billion in relation to these taxes be paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria (and now directed that the payment of the $8.1 billion is dealt with through his office rather than as directed by the CBN)," read the company's statement.

MTN Nigeria "strongly denies these allegations and claims."

The Group stated that the aim of MTN's application to the High Court is to protect MTN Nigeria's assets and shareholder rights within the confines of Nigerian law while the company continues to engage with the relevant authorities.

MTN Group President and CEO Rob Shuter said "We believe that we have complied with all relevant laws, and in light of that, and the conflicting instructions from different organs of State, we have had no choice but to seek relief from the Courts in Nigeria. We remain firmly committed to the Nigerian market and will continue to engage with the authorities on these matters."

MTN said its Nigeria operations "is a responsible, professionally-run company that complies with all laws and regulations, contrary to what has been alleged in the CBN and AG claims."

The notion that there has been wide-spread non-compliance, amongst other things, is inaccurate. MTN will continue to vigorously defend its position, it added.

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