A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has struck out a N3 billion fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, against the attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami.
Chukwujekwu Aneke, the presiding judge struck out the suit on Thursday, January 30, 2020, after the court was informed about the decision of the AGF to withdraw a letter to the company demanding N2 billion alleged unremitted tax.
MTN Nigeria had filed a suit challenging the letter, which was served to it in 2018.
Habibat Ajana, counsel to the AGF, had drawn the judge’s attention to a January 8, 2020, letter by the AGF to MTN, in which the former said he had reviewed the issue and had decided to withdraw the demand letter.
Responding, Wole Olanipekun, a senior advocate of Nigeria and counsel to MTN Nigeria, said with the withdrawal letter from the AGF, his client would drop its suit.
Consequently, the judge struck out the suit.
In the suit, MTN Nigeria had prayed the court to award N3 billion against the AGF for rights infringement.
Olanipekun had argued that in writing the demand letter to MTN, Malami acted beyond his powers and violated the provisions of Section 36 of the constitution on fair hearing with “the purported revenue assets investigation” he carried out on the firm’s activities covering 2007 to 2017.
The court had, in a May 8 ruling, dismissed the AGF’s preliminary objection to the suit.
Wole Olanipekun was the lead counsel defending President Muhammadu Buhari in the challenge to his election by his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the 2019 Presidential Election.
The senior advocate of Nigeria was also one of the scores of lawyers who defended Buhari in a challenge to his claims to having a secondary school certificate in 2016.