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Etisalat Loses Court Case against MTN

Justin Anumiri



A Federal High Court at Ikoyi Lagos has ruled in Favour of MTN in a lawsuit filed against the telecom company by Etisalat another telecom industry in Nigeria. The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba struck out the case yesterday.

Etisalat Nigeria has gone to court to challenge the acquisition of the CDMA operator, Visafone by MTN Nigeria. The telecom giant in its lawsuit questioned the Nigerian Communication Commission administrative powers to approve the purchase of Visafone by MTN.

Justice Ibrahim upheld the argument Mr. Niyi Adegbonmire (SAN) the counsel to MTN and Visaphone. The judge ruled that Etisalat was not able to exhaust the process of judicial review as obliged by the law. According to the judge, the action of MTN amounted to an attempt to circumvent the judicial review process.

Delivering his judgment yesterday, Justice Ibrahim said that Etisalat’s lawsuit could not be remedied because it was incurably bad. According to the judgment, Etisalat was informed in writing by NCC that the acquisition of Visafone did not make the competition in the telecom industry unfavorable in any way. The court also ruled that NCC has power to determine actions which do not favour competition.

The judge in his ruling found fault with the approach adopted by Etisalat in initiating the court case describing it as a contradiction of the provision of the Nigeria communications commissions’ Act.