In an about-turn, the A-G said in a letter sent to MTN on Wednesday that it was dropping the claim, following a careful review and due consultation with the relevant statutory agencies.
MTN, which had been resolute that it had not committed an offence, said on Friday that it welcomed the A-G’s decision, as it paved the way to resolve the bitter dispute amicably.
“The A-GF has decided to refer the matter to the relevant authorities, being the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Firs) and Nigeria Customs (NC), with a view to them resolving the issues. Accordingly, the A-G has withdrawn its letter of demand for the aforementioned $2bn that was issued in August 2018,” MTN said in a statement.
In 2018, the A-G and Nigeria’s Minister of Justice demanded that the group pay $2bn in unpaid duties and taxes between 2007 and 2017, a claim which the group has challenged in the Nigerian courts.