Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned hearing on a $2 billion tax suit brought against MTN Nigeria by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, until January 30 and 31, 2020. 

MTN instituted the suit on September 10, 2018, to challenge the legality of the AGF’s assessment of its import duties, withholding tax and value-added tax amounting to N242 billion and $1.3 billion.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, MTN’s legal team led by Wole Olanipekun and the federal government’s counsel, represented by T.A. Gazali, consented to a further delay in proceedings.

The government’s legal adviser said he was representing the government in another case and would not be able to go on with the trial today. 

Olanipekun had no objection to the respondent’s request.

The levy pronounced by the AGF had come at the same time the Central Bank of Nigeria accused the telecommunication firm of repatriating $8.13billion worth of foreign exchange out of the country with illegal certificates of capital importation. 

While MTN and the CBN had reached an out-of-court settlement, the AGF maintained his demand which led to the ensuing legal battle. 

MTN insisted that it was the Federal Inland Revenue Service that is responsible for making accusations on its tax filings. 

The multinational, which has its biggest customer base in Nigeria, drew first blood earlier with the Lagos court barring the AGF from dismissing the firm’s suit.

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