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Glo sues NCC, MTN over interconnect dispute

LAGOS—Second national telecommunication carrier, Globacom Limited has dragged the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and MTN  before a Federal High Court, Lagos, alleging unfair treatment in the way and manner the regulatory agency handled the interconnection agreement dispute between them.

Globacom and MTN were said to have entered into an agreement in 2003 and under clause 6.5 of the agreement, it was agreed that no party shall invoice for a call later than 60 days after the actual call date.

According to the suit before Justice Lambo Akanbi, Globacom is alleging that MTN, in clear violation of the clause, made a claim of over N1 billion allegedly being unpaid supplementary invoices issued by MTN to Globacom.

NCC was said to have constituted an arbitral panel to look into the dispute, which eventually directed Globacom to pay MTN the sum of N856 million both as supplementary invoices for calls terminated on MTN’s network by Globacom and sum admitted.

The panel also directed Globacom to pay the sum within 30 days of the ruling, failure of which the sum would accrue interest until liquidation.

But Globacom is praying the court to quash the decision of the Arbitral panel of the NCC, insisting that the ruling was a grave miscarriage of justice in that the panel failed to make specific findings on  controversy isues between the parties.

The company also wants the court to restrain NCC and MTN from enforcing the ruling, adding that the panel made decisions on issues not submitted to it and that fair hearing and the rules of natural justice were not followed in the entire proceedings.

Globacom is also contending that the panel failed to furnish it with the records of proceedings and exhibited bias against it in favour of MTN.

However, MTN and NCC have filed separate preliminary objections challenging the suit, praying the court to strike out the suit on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter, having been filed in gross abuse of court process.

The defendants want in the alternative, the court to refer the matter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for onward transmission of the case to the Abuja division of the court for hearing and determination, contending  that prior to the suit, MTN had earlier filed a suit against Globacom at the Abuja division of the court seeking to enforce the ruling of the Arbitral panel constituted by the NCC.

At the resumed hearing in the matter, parties informed the court of the processes filed so far, while the court said it would be neater and better to hear the preliminary objections of MTN and NCC together, while further hearing was adjourned till February 3.


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