Alleged Share Manipulation: EFCC Raids MTN Office, Quizzes Mgt Staff
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday raided the head office of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc in Falomo, Lagos over the scandal rocking the company’s recent listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Top management personnel of the company were said to have been interrogated by the operatives, who stormed the telco’s corporate headquarters at about 4pm.
THISDAY gathered that the EFCC team had demanded for documents in connection with the share listing which were promptly provided to them.
Although no official of the EFCC and MTN could provide official statements on the matter, a source familiar with the deal, said the visit of the team from the anti-graft agency was sequel to the barrage of complaints from “several unnamed brokers that the shares of MTN are not available for the public to buy despite the recent listing that was greeted by huge excitement.”
A stockbroker, who spoke on the matter last night said the astronomical rise in the MTN shares few days after the listing, was a clear indication that some underhand deals must be in the offing.
There are also growing concern among the top players in the Nigerian bourse that if MTN shares continue to climb at such astronomic rate, they stand the risk of being displaced from their vantage positions as market leaders.
When contacted, the Senior Manager, External Relations at MTN Nigeria, Mr. Funso Aina said the company would issue an official statement on the issue.
“We will issue a statement very soon”, Aina said in an SMS to THISDAY last night.