South Africa’s MTN Group has launched a legal challenge again the N1.04 trillion fines imposed against the mobile phone giant’s Nigerian unit, MTN Nigeria, over alleged breach of subscriber registration rules.
In a world exclusive news story published October 25, 2015, Technology Times reported that the NigerianCommunications Commission (NCC) imposed punitive sanctions totaling one trillion and forty billion naira (N1.04 trillion) against MTN Nigeria over alleged breach of SIM registration rules by the mobile phone company.
Citing appeals for leniency and review of the unprecedented fines by MTN, the telecoms watchdog recently agreed to review the fines by 25%, in what would have seen the MTN Nigeria paying N780 billion, as against the initial N1.04 trillion imposed on the mobile phone company.
[blockquote right=”pull-right”]“But in a major volte-face, MTN Group says it has instructed its lawyers to challenge the fines at the Federal High Court in Lagos, on account of the mobile phone company’s review of the circumstances surrounding the regulatory sanction.” [/blockquote]
But in a major volte-face, MTN Group says it has instructed its lawyers to challenge the fines at the Federal High Court in Lagos, on account of the mobile phone company’s review of the circumstances surrounding the regulatory sanction.
MTN Group announced in Johannesburg, South Africa, its home country, Thursday that it opted for the court action based on legal advice on the controversial matter.
“MTN Nigeria acting on legal advice has resolved that the manner of the imposition of the fine and the quantum thereof is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act and therefore there are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine”, the mobile phone company said in a statement to shareholders.
“Accordingly MTN has followed due process and has instructed its lawyers to proceed with an action in the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking the appropriate reliefs”, the statement adds.
Under the plan, the mobile phone group advised shareholders that it has thoroughly and carefully considered all factors o the fine matters “including a review of the circumstances leading to the fine and the subsequent letters received from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).”
Accordingly, “MTN is advised that in the current circumstances in line with the lis pendens rule (pending legal action) the parties are enjoined to restrain from taking further action until the matter is finally determined. This is consistent with previous judicial decisions in Nigeria”, the company says.
MTN also adds that, “Notwithstanding this action the Company will continue to engage with the Nigerian Authorities to try and ensure an amicable resolution in the best interests of the Company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian Authorities
Shareholders are therefore advised to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities until a further announcement is made.”