N500m bribery allegation: MTN opens up

Allegations of an alleged bribe of N500 million to a key aide of President Muhammadu Buhari by telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria to reduce a fine slammed on it were refuted on Friday.

An online medium had alleged that certain unnamed persons showed President Buhari proofs that the aide got the bribe from MTN but that the president did nothing.

The online report had alleged that a top presidency official had collected N500 million as bribe from MTN to help the company mitigate the fine imposed by the Federal Government.

The fine was imposed in October 2015, over the inability of the operator to disconnect about 5.1 million subscribers it registered improperly on its network. The NCC had last year reduced the fine to N330 billion.

However, the company in a statement has said that it did not give bribe for the reduction of the N1.04 trillion fine slammed on the company for infraction.

A statement issued by Mr Funso Aina, MTN’s PR and Protocol Manager, quoted the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr Ferdi Moolman on Friday as saying that MTN’s attention had been drawn to an online report, alleging that a top official in the presidency took bribe from the company to get the Federal Government to reduce the fine.

“MTN Nigeria has no knowledge of this and the allegation is therefore denied.

“The MTN Nigeria fine was ultimately settled with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” said.