Lagos court adjourns case between MTN and attorney general to Dec. 3

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LAGOS – A Lagos judge on Thursday adjourned a hearing in a $2 billion dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria’s attorney general until Dec. 3.

MTN faces a $2 billion tax demand from the country’s attorney general, a claim which the company has said is without merit. The central bank has also accused the firm of illegally sending $8.1 billion abroad, which MTN has denied as well.

Africa’s biggest telecoms firm, which makes about a third of its annual core profit in Nigeria, currently has a market valuation of roughly $12 billion. The two disputes total $10.1 billion.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Wednesday said the country’s financial stability was threatened by the demands made of the telecoms firm by Nigerian authorities.

At the hearing next month, MTN will make its case that Nigeria’s attorney general exceeded his powers in demanding $2 billion in taxes and charges.

In a separate hearing on Dec. 4, MTN will make its case in court against the central bank’s demand for the return to Nigeria of $8.1 billion it said was illegally taken out of the country.

Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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