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Dismiss MTN’s suit against NCC, lawyer tells court

A Lagos lawyer, Mr Tope Alabi, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss MTN Nigeria’s suit against the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

He said that the N1.04trillion fine imposed on MTN was in order, adding that the telecoms firm has no reasonable case against NCC.

According to Alabi, granting MTN’s reliefs will result in “people breaking one law and hiding under another law to escape liability.”

MTN is urging court to quash the $3.9billion sanction imposed on it by NCC in October for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers. The initial fine of $5.2billion was reduced by 25 per cent to $3.9billion earlier this month. The payment deadline has expired.

But MTN through its lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, is challenging NCC’s powers to impose the fine. It argued that NCC being a regulator cannot assume all the functions of the state.

However, Alabi, in an application seeking to be joined as an interested party, said MTN’s suit was an abuse of court process that must not be tolerated.

The lawyer said for over three years, NCC had directed all service providers to register their SIM cards already sold and in circulation. He said he duly registered his line sometime in 2012 and MTN called him in 2013 to obtain further information towards completing the registration.

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