Telecom operator, MTN is not heeding the counsel of the Association of Telecom Operators of Nigeria to pay allegedly owed tax and then go to court.

It has instead dragged the Kogi state government to court over the lock-down of its base station in Lokoja, the state capital, since January 23.

Tobechukwu Okigbo, MTN’s corporate relations executive, on Tuesday, announced that the telco is suing the state government for 5 million naira in damages.

The state government had shut down the station, leading to a disruption in services, over the alleged failure of MTN to remit outstanding tax liability of 120 million naira.

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MTN’s defence is that the minister of finance had not approved the taxes being requested by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service, KGIRS.

Okigbo said the attorney-general of Kogi and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) were also named as parties to the suit filed at a state high court in Lokoja.

He said that MTN was asking the court for a declaration that the act of shutting down its base stations be deemed unconstitutional, null and void and a declaration that the parties involved did not have the power to perform such acts in the first place.

Okigbo said that among other reliefs, damages amounting to 5 million naira were being sought, including an order directing the defendants to unseal and release to the MTN all its equipment and property.

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