For those wondering if the MTN fine issue has died down, it hasn’t.
Yesterday, The Federal High Court in Lagos has barred MTN Nigeria Communications Limited from moving any funds from all banks in Nigeria abroad pending the hearing of its suit challenging the N1.4trillion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
According to Justice Mohammed Idris
“An order is hereby made directing the parties cited herein to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending further hearing,”
The judgement was based on an injunction made by the Federal Government to restrain the 21 commercial banks from releasing any funds belonging to MTN. The counsel to the Federal Government, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), in the 14-paragraph affidavit deposed by Steve Nwabueze, alleged that MTN was in the habit of regularly repatriating its funds out of Nigeria.
According to Okpeseyi
” MTN moved over $7.7bn of the money made in Nigeria to a foreign account, between October 2007 and May 2009, a period of 19 months. The lawyer also pointed out to the court an instance when in one day, specifically on February 8, 2008, MTN transferred over $936m out of Nigeria to accounts in Mauritius, Cayman Island and British Virgin Island.
Meanwhile, MTN might even lose their Spectrum license following the ongoing probe into the activities of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
According to Daily Trust, the NBC director general Emeka Mba was arrested on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly operating a secret account into which about N17billion out of N34bn paid by MTN Nigeria for the 700MHz license was kept.
Who else is feeling sorry for MTN?