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MTN Hires Seven Senior Advocates to Fight NCC in Court

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MTN, the leading telecom industry in Nigeria has finally gone to court to challenge the $3.9billion imposed on the company by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

MTN in a law suit filed against NCC and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice is praying the court the cancel the fine imposed on them by the NCC for failing to deactivate improperly registered and unregistered SIM cards within the stipulated deadline. The company through their team of lawyers challenges the power of the commission to impose such a fine on the company.

MTN hired high profiled lawyers to represent them in a lawsuit filed in the Federal High Court, Lagos. The team of lawyers representing the company comprises seven senior advocates of Nigeria, namely, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Dr. Gbolahan Elias, Dr. Oladapo Olanipekun, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, Tanimola Molajo, A.B Mahmoud and Oladipo Okpeseyi.

The company in the originating summons made by their lawyers pointed out to the court that it was not proper for NCC to take up all the responsibility of the state on its own. They based their arguments on the fact that the commission alone regulated, determined penalty and imposed fine to be paid to the commission rather than to the federation.

The telecom team of lawyers also accused NCC of denying MTN of their constitutional right of fair hearing before a court of competent jurisdiction and slamming the company with a huge fine when they have not be tried and found guilty of any offence. The lawyers also pointed out that the deadline given to MTN regarding the disconnection exercise was not achievable owing to the fact that NCC sent a letter stipulating the deadline for the disconnection exercise just a day before it slammed MTN with the fine.

The company accused NCC of playing the legislator, judge, accuser, prosecutor, executor and beneficiary in its case with MTN.