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MTN fine: Senate accuses CBN, AGF, ors of criminal conspiracy

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*Conspiracy over payment of N50 billion settlement agreement

Senate on Thursday accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of Attorney General of Federation, and Office of Accountant General of Federation of criminal conspiracy with MTN Nigeria over payment of N50 billion settlement agreement against N1.4 trillion imposed earlier by the Federal government.

Senate Committee on Communication in interface with affected government agencies Frowned against the manner of negotiation between MTN Nigeria and representatives of the Nigerian government.

However, the representatives of AGF, Accountant General of Federation, CBN and MTN took exception of that allegation explaining that there was no criminal conspiracy in the negotiation,

According to the Senate, the amount paid by MTN represents only 6 percent of the total fine imposed on it for alleged violation of the terms of SIM registration in Nigeria.

The Senate said it observed also that the Ministry of communication and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) were never carried along in the negotiation with the MTN.

The Senate had alleged that the MTN was involved in a criminal conspiracy with the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Accountant General and the Central Bank of Nigeria, more so the money was lodged into a newly opened account tagged Recovery Account, contrary to the law.

During the meeting with stakeholders on the MTN Fines, the lawmakers expressed misgivings that MTN Nigeria was dictating terms for the Nigerian government by insisting on paying the sum of N300 billion out of which it went ahead to deposit the sum of N50 billion into the special recovery account.

Reacting to the allegation of opening another account for apart for TSA tagged recovery Account, Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris said he was not aware of the money that will go into that account opened with CBN.

He said the account was opened based on request from Attorney General of Federation.

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