Fine Settlement: NCC Affirms Receipt Of 50bn Naira From MTN

MTNThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has affirmed the Federal Government’s receipt of 50 billion Naira towards settlement of the fine imposed on MTN Nigeria Communications Limited by the Commission.

The commission also affirmed the withdrawal of a suit involving the MTN, NCC and HAGF.

In a statement, the NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said that the official information to the Commission to that effect, was received from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, on Monday.

“The amount was an unconditional good faith payment, on the basis that this sum would be applied towards eventual settlement agreement for payment of the fine imposed by the Commission, where the ongoing negotiations between the Federal Government and the company reaches a final resolution,” the statement by Mr Ojobo read.

The Federal Government’s team for the negotiations is being led by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, while the MTN team is led by a former U.S Attorney General, and Head of Covington & Burling LLP, Washington DC, Mr Eric H. Holder, Jr.

According to the NCC’s statement, the receipt of the amount, and withdrawal of the suit is without prejudice to the final decision of government on the terms of payment being proposed by the company.

On the basis of out of court settlement, the Federal Government team, is expected to deliberate on the merits and demerits of the terms of payment of the fine imposed on the MTN by the Commission for its failure to deactivate invalid SIM Cards as directed by the Commission, an act the NCC said contravened the provisions of the regulation on SIM Card Registration.

N1.04trn Fine: Court Adjourns MTN’s Case Against NCC Till March 18

NCCA Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till March 18, the suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to challenge the 1.04 trillion Naira fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

The court’s adjournment was sequel to a request by the telecommunication outfit for more time to pursue an out of court settlement.

MTN had in December 2015 filed the suit through its lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), arguing that the NCC being a regulator, cannot assume all the functions of the state on its own, considering the fact that they made the regulation, prescribed the penalty and imposed the fine, which is payable to the commission and not the Federal Government.

The telecommunication company also claimed that it was not afforded its constitutional right of fair hearing before a court of competent jurisdiction and more importantly, it had not been found guilty of any offence that will warrant it to pay such an outrageous fine.

The NCC in response urged the court in a motion on notice filed through its lawyers, Ahmed Raji (SAN) and Mahmud Magaji (SAN), to dismiss or decline to hear the suit for want of jurisdiction, or send it to Abuja.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Friday, Chief Olanipekun informed the court that parties are already discussing on how to resolve the matter amicably.

The lawyer then asked for a 60-day period from the court to allow for the discussions.

But counsel to the NCC, Yusuf Alli (SAN) urged the court to go ahead with the hearing of the matter as he was not aware of any ongoing discussion for settlement among parties.

On his part, lawyer to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), also expressed reservations on the application for adjournment.

The silk urged the court to make a consequential order that all the processes filed is deemed as properly filed and served.

Justice Idris, in a short ruling, held that all the preliminary objections and substantive applications shall be taken together while all the processes filed shall be deemed as properly filed and served.

The court then adjourned the matter till March 18, for a report of settlement or for hearing.

NCC Battles MTN In Court

NCCThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss or decline hearing in the suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited challenging the 1.04 trillion Naira fine imposed on it by the commission.

In a motion on notice filed through its lawyers, the NCC asked the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction or send it to the Abuja division of the court.

The commission also argued that the suit was wrongly filed in Lagos, noting that the subject of dispute took place in Abuja, while the two respondents in the suit, the NCC and the Attorney General of the Federation are also based in Abuja.

MTN in its suit, which is yet to be heard, is contending that it was not afforded enough time to comply with the NCC directive.

The telecommunication company also said that the commission did not give it fair hearing before hurriedly announcing the sanction.