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Lawyers sue telecom giant, NCC over $5.2 billion fine reduction

They also allege that the NCC is conspiring with MTN Nigeria, adding that MTN should be ordered to pay the original N1.04 trillion fine imposed on it by the regulator.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, NCC CEO/EVC

According to various reports, two lawyers of the firm First Law solicitors, on Monday, filed an application at the Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the decision of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to reduce the $5.2 billion fine imposed on telecoms giant, MTN Nigeria, by 25%.

The two lawyers, Messrs. Timipa Jenkins Okponipere and Gele Samuel Mathew, in a signed photocopy of the suit of summon titled: "Notice of application for an order for enforcement of fundamental right pursuant to the provision of the constitution of Nigeria as amended and African charter …and enforcement Act 2004”, which was made available to the media in Abuja yesterday, said the fine reduction is a breach of “Part X section 86-88 of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Act 2003, Section 142 (3) and (4) NCC Act 2003 Section 36 (1) 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria.”

According to a report by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Okponipere and Mathew say they are filing the suit against the NCC and MTN Nigeria on behalf of all Nigerians for the enforecement of their fundamental rights.

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According to the two lawyers, “No Nigerian institution or public office holder has the absolute power to howsoever reduce the fine, without legitimate recourse to the Nigerian people.”

They also allege that the NCC is conspiring with MTN Nigeria, adding that MTN should be ordered to pay the original N1.04 trillion fine imposed on it by the regulator.

Okponipere and Mathew also stated that the fine must be paid and remitted in the Federation account, as the payment of the fine was non-negotiable.

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