Commercial Law

Court strikes out MTN N3bn suit against AGF, Malami

By Michael Ojo

In a  reconciliatory move, telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria on Thursday withdrew a N3 billion fundamental human rights enforcement suit it filed against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The withdrawal of the suit is sequel to Malami’s withdrawal of a letter to the company demanding an alleged $2 billion unremitted tax liability.

But Justice C.J. Aneke struck out the suit on Thursday after being told that the AGF had withdrawn the demand letter from MTN.

Counsel for the AGF, Habibat Ajana, had pointed the judge’s attention to a January 8, 2020 letter by the AGF to MTN, wherein the Chief Law Officer said he had reviewed the issue and had decided to withdraw the demand letter for $2bn tax.

MTN’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said having withdrawn demand letter, his client would drop its suit against the AGF.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 N3bn 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 in May 8, 2019 ruling dismissed AGF’s preliminary objection to the suit.

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