MTN Nigeria has released a statement denying any wrongdoings hours after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and some officials of the Nigerian Police visited its head office in Falomo, Victoria Island.
In its statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Saturday, May 25, 2019, MTN Nigeria explained that it had received a request from the anti-graft agency asking for information and documentation related to the listing of our shares on the NSE.
No wrongdoing: MTN Nigeria said it has not been accused of any wrongdoing by the EFCC. According to the statement which was obtained by Nairametrics, MTN Nigeria reiterated that all regulatory approvals required to list its shares on NSE were received and confirmed by the NSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
MTNN is co-operating with EFCC: The telecommunications company went further to stress that it is co-operating with the anti-graft agency and other authorities.
The purported raid by EFCC: EFCC and some Police officers purportedly shut down MTN Nigeria‘s head office on Friday shortly before close of business. The company’s staff reportedly told to remain inside the building, even as the doors were opened for them to leave an hour later.
Checks by Nairametrics, however, confirmed that the incident was not quite a raid as it had been reported by some outlets. If anything, the visit by the EFCC was a routine regulatory check. Note that no arrest was made, neither was there any carting away of documents to imply the visit was a raid.
No word from the EFCC: The anti-graft agency has not officially addressed the incident as at the time of publishing this report. When Nairametrics contacted EFCC‘s Head of Public Affairs, Ayo Oyewole, he said he wasn’t aware of the situation.
The Backstory: Controversy began to trail MTN Nigeria‘s listing by introduction on the NSE after many investors realised they cannot easily buy it due to liquidity issues. As you may already know, the leading telco has yet to conduct an initial public offering, because the company is not looking to raise funds in the meantime. As a result, this has made it impossible for many investors to buy the stock.
In the meantime, however, some of MTN‘s core investors have been engaging in off-market sales in a bid to take advantage of the growing demand for the stock. Note that the high demand for MTN Nigeria shares had pushed up the price from the initial listing price of N90 to around N140 on Friday.
Note: Nairametrics will update you once there’s a new development.