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Reps say slashing MTN fine illegal, summon AGF, NCC boss

Reps say slashing MTN fine illegal, summon AGF, NCC boss
June 14
07:03 2016

The house of representatives committee on communications says slashing MTN Nigeria’s fine from N1.4 trillion to N330 billion is illegal.

The committee, led by Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, has summoned the Umar Danbatta, a professor and the executive vice chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications; and Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation.

According to Akinade-Fijabi, NCC, the ministry of justice and the ministry of communications undermined the integrity and independent of the national assembly by slashing the fine while investigations were still on.

“We will certainly continue with our investigation. We are disappointed that this agreement was reached without our consultation,” Akinade-Fijabi told journalists in Abuja.

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“We need to make sure everyone complied with the law. The law doesn’t say anything about reducing a fine. What are the issues that have changed in the assessment between the time of imposing the fine and now? What is the legal basis for this reduction?

“The two ministers, the Chief Executive Officer of NCC and all other persons involved in the negotiations are to appear before the committee on Monday next week by 10am.”

Sunny Echono, permanent secretary at the ministry of justice, who represented Malami, said the slashing had the blessing of the highest level of government.

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“This was pursuant to series of procedural and other reviews, including the constitution of inter-ministerial committee under the auspices of the AGF,’’ Echono said.

“We were told that the action of the committee was independent of whatever action the executive arm may want to take on it.

“It is the need for finality for the closure of this impasse that has been on for long time and its general impact on the sector that the decision was taken. I can confirm that the decision has the blessing of the highest level of government.”

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