MTN To Sue NCC Over Challenge $3.9bn Fine

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Mobile phone operator, MTN Nigeria has resolved to challenge the $3.9 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), TechCentral is reporting.

MTN, in a statement to shareholders today, said it decided to take this route after exhausting all other options to have the fine reduced.

MTN said that “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.”

“MTN Nigeria, acting on legal advice, has resolved that the manner of the imposition of the fine and the quantum thereof 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 TechCentral report, MTN has told its lawyers to “proceed with legal action in the federal high court in Lagos to seek the appropriate relief.”

The group added that they have been 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.”

Although MTN has been given until December 31, 2015 to pay the fine in full, the group maintains that they will “continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to try and ensure an amicable resolution in the best interests of the company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian authorities.”

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Earlier in the month, the NCC agreed to reduce the fine from $5.2 billion to $3.9 billion, although initial reports claimed in error that the fine was reduced to $3.4 billion.

The former group CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko is acting as executive chairman while still taking on CEO responsibilities until a replacement is found.

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