MTN Group has decided to take matters to the Federal High Court in Lagos over the fine imposed on the company by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
In a statement to shareholders yesterday, the telecoms provider stated that the fine “is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act and therefore there are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine”.
According to the statement “MTN is advised that in the current circumstances in line with the lis pendens rule (pending legal action) the parties are enjoined to restrain from taking further action until the matter is finally determined. This is consistent with previous judicial decisions in Nigeria.”
Earlier in the month, news broke that the original NCC-imposed fine of $5.2 billion (equivalent of N 1.04 trillon at the time) was reduced by 35%. It was later revealed to be actually a 25% reduction.
MTN has been given a deadline of 31st of December, 2015 to pay the fine. Taking the legal route appears to be a last resort, as according to MTN’s statement, “all factors having a bearing on the matter have been thoroughly and carefully considered, including a review of the circumstances leading to the fine and the subsequent letters received from the NCC.”