MTN Takes CBN and AGF to Court Over Alleged Dividend Repatriation and Unpaid Taxes

The trouble seems to be far from over as Nigerian leading telecommunication company, MTN, has taken the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to court over its alleged dividend repatriation and unpaid taxes accusations.

This move, according to Nairametrics, is for the “firm to protect it’s MTN Nigeria’s assets and shareholders’ rights within the confines of Nigerian law.”

A Quick Flashback

About two weeks ago, the CBN alleged improper dividend repatriations by MTN Nigeria based on an investigation by the regulator and had requested that the $8.1 billion illegally transferred between 2006 and 2016 be returned “to the coffers of the CBN”.

The AGF also alleged unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports and that approximately $2.0 billion in relation to these taxes be paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Not only did the CBN place a fine on the telco, it also fined four banks allegedly involved in the transfer. They include Standard Chartered Bank (₦2.4 billion), Stanbic IBTC (₦1.8), Citibank (₦1.2 billion), and Diamond Bank Plc (₦250 million).

And as expected, MTN Nigeria denied the allegations, claiming that the regulator CBN was aware of the transfer. Interestingly, this series of fines is not the first as MTN had run-ins with the NCC a few years back and is still paying the issued fine.

This has caused more troubles for the telco as MTN Group’s shares plunged to more than 23% –its lowest level in nine years.

The telco,  resolute that it has not committed any offence, has reportedly “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 they (we) continue to engage with the relevant authorities on these matters.”

The latest crisis facing the telecommunication company may appear a tough one but it is not giving up without a fight!

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