MTN WITHDRAWS 3BIL SUIT AGAINST MALAMI

Robert Egbe

 

THE Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday struck out a N3billion fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, against the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke made the order, following a resolution of a $2billion dispute between MTN and the Federal Government.

MTN had filed the suit to challenge an August 20, 2018 letter written to it by the AGF, demanding $2billion in alleged unremitted tax.

But, the minister told the judge through his counsel, Habibat Ajana, that the AGF had reviewed the issue and withdrawn the demand letter via a January 8, 2020 letter to MTN.

MTN’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said having withdrawn demand letter, his client would drop its suit against the AGF.

Consequently, Justice Aneke struck out the suit.

In the suit, MTN had prayed the court to award N3b against the AGF for rights infringement.

Olanipekun had argued that in writing the demand letter to MTN, 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.

The court had on May 8, 2019, ruling dismissed AGF’s preliminary objection to the suit.