MTN Nigeria’s lead counsel Wole Olanipekun on Tuesday, 4 November 2018 stated that the telecommunications firm is exploring the possibility of an amicable resolution of the dispute with the Central Bank of Nigeria out of the dictates of the court. Confirming this, CBN’s lead counsel, Seyi Sowemimo noted that the discussions for an out-of-court settlement were in an advanced stage.
“We have advanced stages towards settlement, and it remains to cross the Ts and dot the Is and a report of the settlement,” Sowemimo stated.
Following the agreement of both parties, the Federal High Court hearing the case in Lagos, Nigeria, adjourned the hearing till 12 December to enable parties to fully explore out-of-court resolution and deliberate on the terms of the settlement.
In November, MTN filed a suit urging the court to declare that the CBN acted ultra vires its statutory powers when it wrote a letter to the company on 28 August demanding a refund of $8.1 billion allegedly taken out of the country illegally. The telecoms company urged the court to hold that the regulator’s demand was illegal, oppressive, abusive, unauthorised and unconstitutional.
In the wake of the MTN-CBN saga in Nigeria, the company’s most profitable market, many MTN Group executives have exited the company. Chief Technology Officer, Babak Fouladi, resigned to join Dutch telecommunications firm, KPN NV. Another high-ranking executive, Stephen Van Coller, left MTN at the end of August to take the helm of technology firm EOH Holdings Limited.
Chief Innovation Officer at MTN Group, Herman Singh, is planning to start his own tech venture outside of MTN.
According to report, the executives are leaving after a three-year turmoil at MTN and the dispute with Nigeria. An out-of-court settlement is the best outcome for both the business and the company in the long-standing dispute.