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MTN N1.04trn Fine: Court refuses to stop NCC as deadline expires today

By News Express on 16/11/2015

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Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos has refused to grant an exparte application filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Oluyinka Oyeniji, seeking to restrain the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) from enforcing the N1.04 trillion sanctions it imposed MTN Nigeria Ltd.

The judge instead directed the lawyer to put the regulatory body on notice by serving them all the processes filed in the suit, so that it can respond to them.

Oyeniji told the court he instituted the suit on behalf of himself and millions of other MTN subscribers because of NCC’s plan to deactivate millions of MTN subscribers’ lines because the telecommunication company has failed to pay the N1.04 trillion fine slammed on it for unethical practice.

In the motion exparte refused by the court, the lawyer had sought an order of interim injunction restraining the first respondent (NCC) from enforcing any sanctions on the second respondent (MTN), especially on the sum of N1.04 trillion or any sum relating to compliance over subscribers’ deactivation, pending the determination of the motion on notice.

He had further prayed for an order of interim injunction restraining MTN from making any payments regarding the N1.04 trillion penalty imposed upon it by the NCC pending the determination of the motion on notice.

Oyeniji had also urged the court for an order directing parties to maintain the status quo pending the argument of the motion on notice.

He also sought an order mandating NCC to tender documentary evidence of accounts to justify the fines imposed MTN as well as other telecommunication operators including the appropriation and disbursement thereof, from 2002 till date, in accordance with Order 44 Rule 4 of the Civil Procedure Rules, 2009.

The lawyer further wanted the court to grant leave to the applicant for the originating processes to be served outside the jurisdiction of the court on the second respondent and for such processes to be marked “concurrent.”

The motion was supported by a 24-paragraph affidavit.

When the case came up for hearing on Friday, counsel to the applicant, Yemi Salma, urged the court to grant the exparte order, stating that a national newspaper (not LEADERSHIP) had reported that the regulatory body would carry out the sanction on Monday (today) and thus would adversely affect millions of subscribers.

However, Justice Idris in his ruling noted that the newspaper publication was speculative and that it could not be tendered as evidence before the court.

The judge therefore threw out the interim order but granted the order seeking to serve the respondents outside the jurisdiction of the court.

The court adjourned the matter till November 19 for the hearing of the motion on notice. (LEADERSHIP)

Source News Express

Posted 16/11/2015 10:08:25 AM


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