$1.3bn Tax: MTN’s suit against FG to be heard Dec. 3

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A Federal High Court, Lagos, will on Dec. 3 hear a suit by MTN Nigeria Communication Ltd against the Attorney General of the Federation challenging the legality of N242 billion and 1.3 billion dollars import duties and withholding tax assessment.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke fixed the date for hearing of all pending applications after counsel representing both parties had informed the court of their various applications filed and served.

On Thursday, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) with other senior lawyers, appeared for MTN, while Mr T.A Gazali, a Chief State Counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice, appeared for the AGF.

Counsel informed the court of the various processes filed before the court and served on respective parties to the suit.

Following this development, Justice Aneke set Dec.3 for hearing of all pending applications before the court.

Meanwhile, in its preliminary objection, the AGF argued that the plaintiff in seeking redress to the subject matter, has just three months from the date the cause of action arose, to institute the action.

It argues that the plaintiff commenced the suit in clear disregard to section 2 of the Public Officers Protection Act, which provides that any action commenced against a public officer, must be made within three months from commencement of cause of action.

AGF argues that plaintiff’s failure to commence the suit within three months as stipulated by law, robs the court of its jurisdiction to entertain same.

The CBN alleged that the telecomms firm improperly repatriated dividends, and requested that MTN returns 8.1 billion dollars to its coffers.

The suit is set down for hearing before Justice Saliu Saidu on Dec. 4. (NAN)

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