The legal tussle between Nigerian regulators and MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator has taken yet another turn. According to reports, the telecoms company has hired Eric Holder, the former US attorney general, to help it fight a record $3.9 billion fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission for failing to disconnect unregistered sim cards.
Last October, MTN was slapped with an initial $5.2 billion fine which was later reduced by 25% to $3.9 billion. The telecoms giant has sought to overturn the fine by challenging the legal authority of Nigeria’s regulator to impose the fine. Nigerian authorities then sought to freeze MTN’s accounts saying the company could repatriate its funds from the country before the fine is imposed but, in a rare win for MTN, the court turned down the request.