ABUJA (Reuters) – MTN has received a counterclaim from Nigeria’s central bank to its request for an order to stop the bank forcing it to repatriate $8.1 billion it claims was illegally sent out of the country, the South African telecom’s lawyer said on Friday.
MTN has received the central bank’s response to its court filing, Wole Olanipekun said, adding that MTN will file a reply to the bank’s claim.
The central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in August ordered MTN and its lenders to bring back the funds which it alleged the company had sent abroad in breach of foreign exchange regulations.
“MTN had gone to court, sued the central bank and the attorney general. The central bank has filed a response and a counter claim, meaning that nobody can resort to self-help in the matter any longer,” Olanipekun told Reuters.
“With this development everybody has now surrendered … the greviances to the court. Everybody has to wait for the decision of the court.”
CBN spokesman Isaac Okorafor said: “Although there’s a case in court, the CBN is aggressively engaging MTN and the banks and I’m hopeful that an amicable resolution will soon be achieved.”
Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Jan Harvey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise