The legal battle between the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator has taken another twist. Just about two weeks after seeking an out-of-court settlement in its suit against the $3.9bn fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it looks like MTN has settled for Eric Holder, former US attorney-general, to intervene on its behalf according to the Financial Times of London.
According to Financial Times, Holder visited Abuja in January to plead with top government officials. “His experience as attorney-general in dealing with a lot of corporate problems was interesting to MTN,” the publication quoted a source close to the negotiations as saying. “The company hoped Mr Holder’s experience and stature could inject some balance into the equation.”
Eric Holder served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, from 2009 to 2015 in the administration of President Barack Obama and he is the first African American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General.
As US attorney-general between 2009 and 2015, Holder was said to have presided over the biggest corporate settlements in US history. These included the $13bn that JPMorgan Chase paid over the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis, and BP’s $18bn fine for the Horizon oil spill.
The MTN fine is much larger than those handled by Holder in the US but it hopes that he would be able to help it make a head way in its attempt to get better deal away from the current $3.9 billion which threatens to wipe off 95 per cent of its annual earnings from its largest market with 62 million subscribers, representing 42 per cent of the group’s network.
Credits: TheCable, Thisday