January 22, 2016

N1.04t fine: Court adjourns MTN suit against NCC for out of court settlement


A MTN service provider tries to register a client’s SIM card in Lagos, on October 27, 2015. Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator has fined South African mobile giant MTN $5.2 billion for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered SIM cards, the company announced on Monday. The penalty saw shares in Africa’s largest telecommunications company crash more than 12 percent to 167 rand on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the biggest fall the firm has suffered in a day since November 1998. AFP PHOTO

By Innocent Anaba
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Friday, adjourned till March 18, for parties in the suit by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited against the Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC, over the N1.04trillion fine imposed on the telecommunication outfit to settle out of court or hearing in the case would commence.

At the hearing in the matter, Friday, MTN’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, informed the court that parties were already discussing on how to resolve the matter amicably.

He requested for a 60-day period to allow for the discussions.
NCC’s lawyer, Yusuf Alli, SAN, disclosed that the court’s discretion was limited to the rules of court which allows for just 21 days to file and serve written addresses.

Counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Oladipo Okpeseyi, SAN, in his response to Olanipekun’s 60-days request, expressed his reservations, disclosing that the telecommunication outfit has not been consistent in its call for an out of court settlement in the matter.