FILE PHOTO: A shopper walks past an MTN shop at mall in Johannesburg
INTERNATIONAL - Nigeria’s central bank is asking a Lagos court to make South Africa’s MTN pay 15 percent annual interest on the $8.1 billion it claims was illegally moved abroad, according to court documents seen by Reuters.

The bank also asked the court to dismiss MTN’s case seeking to stop the monetary authority’s order for the telecoms firm to repatriate the funds back to Nigeria, the documents showed. 

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.”