Senate summons ministers over payment of MTN fine


The Senate has summoned the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to explain their roles on the reported payment of N50billion out of the N780bn fine on MTN Nigeria.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji who announced the invitation of the ministers in a statement, also invited the Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria.

The committee noted that in the course of its oversight function specifically in relation to the sanction of N780 billion imposed on MTN, the NCC could not offer any proof of receiving money from MTN. 
“It was reported that MTN was rather misguided to pay the said N50 billion into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Recovery Account which is specially designated for recovered looted funds. We are of the view that such payment if actually well-intended ought to have passed through NCC instead of circumventing the regulatory agency in the overall process. 
“The rushed payment and subsequent withdrawal of the MTN-instituted legal action is not only suspicious but constitutes a grave economic and financial infraction as well as brazen breach of due process in relation to payment of fines,” he said.
According to him, the boycott of NCC calls for a serious investigation in line with the zero-tolerance for corruption stance of the federal government. 
The committee said it resorted to legislative intervention given the public outcry the transaction has continued to generate.