The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has entered as judgement the out-of-court settlement terms in a suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited against the Federal Government.
MTN had challenged the over $8bn demanded from it by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over alleged improper dividend repatriations to a foreign country.
In the suit, the telecoms firm asked the court to restrain the CBN and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) from imposing punitive sanctions on it.
On the other hand, the apex bank had accused MTN Nigeria of forex remittance infractions and demanded that $8.1 billion be returned “to the coffers of the CBN”.
When the case came up in court yesterday, MTN’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, informed Justice Saliu Saidu that parties have resolved the dispute amicably.
He said the terms of the settlement were filed in court on December 28, 2018.
CBN’s counsel, Mr Henry Ejiofor, also confirmed to the judge that both parties have settled out of court.
He, thereafter, urged the court to enter the terms of settlement as judgment.
In his ruling, Justice Saidu thanked the parties for not wasting precious judicial time by going through the rigours of a trial.
He adopted the terms of settlement as the judgment of the court and struck out the AGF’s name from the suit.
The terms of the settlement were not read in open court and Channels Television was unable to get a copy of the document as at the time of this report.
However, we will keep you updated as soon as we get the details.
The Federal Government had accused MTN of unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports, asking it to pay approximately $2billion in relation to the taxes.
According to the CBN, MTN and four banks deliberately flouted the “laws and regulations … including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006.”
The banks allegedly colluded with MTN, using irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCI) to illegally remit foreign exchange abroad.
The four banks were slammed with a combined N5.87 billion fine.
MTN had denied the allegations and subsequently filed the suit to challenge it.