By Elizabeth BanyiTabi
The top management of Mobile telecommunication company, MTN Cameroon have denounced what they termed » fraudulent » in the rulings handed down by the Douala Court of First instance in Bonanjo, in the case pitting the the South African Group and lawyers representing four companies of the BESTINVER Group of business guru El hadj Ahmadou Baba Danpullo .
In their outing of Wednesday, June 14th, the General Manager of MTN Cameroon, Mitwa Ng’ambi said, the orders signed by the Douala courts president in September last year had let to the freezing of the company’s banks account worth 14 Billion FCFA. The company had been linked in a loan recovery battle between Baba Danpullo and the South African First National Bank
The lawyers of Baba Danpullo in their petition to the court,had claimed that, BESTINVER has been robbed of it’s assets in south Africa .They were thus seeking for the court to recover from South African subsidiaries in Cameroon the amount of 259 Billion FCFA. The said amount, represents the value of the real estates from which Baba Danpullo was allegedly robbed of.
After the bank liquidated a number of properties belonging to Danpullo in South Africa, the businessman retaliated by having the court garnish the accounts of South African companies including MTN and Chococam, owned by Tiger Brands.
However MTN Cameroon maintained, they have no relation with BESTINVER nor the South African bank nor the public Investment Corporation. They consider the affair between BESTINVER and the South African bank a private matter as such MTN Cameroon or any South African company in Cameroon can be dragged into it.
. The legal Commercial General Manager of MTN Cameroon, Felix Fon-Ndikum the courts decision was fraudulent and unacceptable. Following the courts decision of June 9, the funds were to be transferred into an account managed by the Bonanjo court registrar .
Fon-Ndikum revealed, the registrar in Chief was awarded a commission of 0.3% of all the sum sum transferred that the banks wouy have confiscated in a » non – contentious court order. The banks have been ordered to comply or subject to a fine of 100 million FCFA per day in case of delay.
The Legal manager added that, the hate in which these funds are being transferred » is all the more surprising given that, the seiziare being seriously contexted and that there is no threat to the sum of money held by the bank ‘ he said
And considering the seriousniof the affair, MTN Cameroon intends to employ all possible legaymeans to thwart the robbery maneuvers currently being carried.
Ng’ambi said, the seizure of MTN’s assets in Cameroon threatens operations not just for the group but also for CHOCOCAM, another company with South African shareholding
« A threat to our operations is a threat to everything we have built in service to Cameroon over the last 23 years, we had been silent for the past 10 months the issue has been in court but it has gotten to an extent where we have to speak out and denounce such a miscarriage of Justice » she said.
MTN Cameroon has one of the biggest networks in the country, with over 12 million users.
Ng’ambi said the matter has caused difficulties in paying service providers and employees and could affect MTN’s more than 800 Cameroonian employees and an additional 200,000 people who work for suppliers indirectly through various partnership agreements and others.
Melvin Akam, MTN Cameroon general manager of regulatory and corporate affiars said, MTN Cameroon believes it is entitled like all litigants to fair, equitable and impartial justice. They have therefore called for the law to be established and remain convinced that Cameroon is a state of law that can not accommodate such injustices which can downplay on the contributions of business and investor climate