MTN engages former US Attorney-Gen over NCC’s $3.9bn fine
By Emmanuel Elebeke with agency report
With one month and two weeks left to settle with the Nigerian authorities over the $3.9 billion fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, for failing to disconnect unregistered users, MTN Group has hired the former Attorney-General of the United States of America, Eric Holder, to help challenge the propriety of the fine.
The former U.S. law enforcement officer, Holder, is said to have pleaded with Nigerian officials last month on behalf of the telecoms company without success.
It will be recalled that MTN Nigeria was originally given a fine of $5.2 billion in October 2015, and, after weeks of lobbying, had the fine reduced by 25 percent to $3.9 billion.
Still not satisfied, the telecom giant approached a Lagos High Court in December to quash the fine, arguing that the regulator had no legal grounds to impose such penalty.
After hearing the case, the presiding judge, in January, gave the two parties a two-month period to settle out of court.
Meanwhile, effort to confirm the development from MTN spokesperson did not yield result.
However, Vanguard checks revealed that Holder was in the U.S. Justice Department from 2009 to 2015 and was one of President Barack Obama’s longest-serving cabinet members.
He returned to the law firm, Covington & Burling, where he was previously a partner from 2001 to 2009.