Lagos — Nigeria’s attorney-general exceeded his powers in demanding $2bn in taxes and charges from MTN Group, the company said in papers filed with Nigeria’s high court and reviewed by Reuters. The papers, filed on Monday in a move by the Nigerian arm of the South African firm aimed at protecting its assets, also showed MTN was seeking 3-billion naira ($10m) from the West African country in court and legal expenses. In September, the Nigerian government handed MTN a $2bn tax bill days after the central bank, in a separate move, ordered the company’s Lagos unit to hand over $8.1bn that it said was illegally sent abroad. Nigeria, which accounts for a third of MTN’s annual core profit, is MTN’s biggest market. Some analysts see politics as a factor in the pressure on MTN as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in 2015 on promises to push through tougher regulation, is seeking re-election in 2019. "The attorney-general of the federation [of Nigeria] acted illegally, unco...

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