MTN hires former US attorney-general for Nigeria lawsuit

MTN Group has hired former US attorney-general Eric Holder to assist in the company’s multi-billion dollar lawsuit in Nigeria.

This is according to Bloomberg, citing the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The NCC fined MTN ₦1.04-trillion (around R71-billion at the time) in October 2015 for not disconnecting unregistered SIMs on its network.

After negotiations with Nigerian authorities, the fine was reduced by 25% to ₦780-billion.

Africa’s largest mobile operator opted to take the matter to court in Lagos and it has until mid-March to reach a settlement.

Bloomberg reported that Holder held preliminary talks with NCC CEO Umaru Danbatta regarding the fine.

“We have consultants working for us across the globe,” MTN spokesperson Chris Maroleng said, declining to comment on Holder.

MTN has been urged by Nigeria’s communications minister to drop its lawsuit in order to foster a settlement.

“If they (MTN) withdraw, it creates a better environment, an environment where there is no stress or pressure on either side,” said Adebayo Shittu.

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MTN hires former US attorney-general for Nigeria lawsuit