The Federal High Court of Nigeria has rejected the Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) in response to MTN Nigeria’s lawsuit.
MTN announced the case is now scheduled to be heard on 26 June 2019.
MTN Nigeria filed a lawsuit after the AGF issued a demand for unpaid duties and taxes, with the company challenging the authority of the AGF to deal with issues around tax and custom duties.
According to the law, oversight for this is the responsibility of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), MTN said.
The AGF requested that MTN’s lawsuit be dismissed because it was not filed within the appropriate timeframe, which the AGF asserted was within three months of receipt of the initial request for a self-assessment.
However, the judge determined that MTN was only required to file its case within 3 months of receipt of the actual demand notice, which it did.
“It is important to note that even if the court ultimately rules that the AGF is within its rights to assess taxes and duties, it does not imply that the assessment that has been made is legitimate,” MTN said in a statement.
“MTN maintains that it is fully compliant with Nigerian tax laws. The company remains committed to meeting its fiscal responsibilities, and to contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria.”