Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lagos Court favours APC over shortcode litigation, NCC+5 Operators to pay N500m

A court sitting in Lagos, Tuesday, March 24, 2015 gave judgement in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the ban on mobile telecom shortcode – 35350, ITRealms reports.

The court, ITRealms reports also ordered the NCC alongside five mobile operators to pay APC the sum of N500 million as damages.

The APC had on the wake of the ban, draggred NCC and some five mobile operators to court, including MTN Nigeria, Glo, Etisalat, Airtel and Visafone, while NCC reportedly placed the ban because of suspected use of mobile short codes for fundraising Short Messaging Service (SMS) on which NCC said did not pass through due process and amounts to short-changing Nigerians, especially unsuspecting electorates and mobile users.

Also, quoted the Lagos state Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who doubles as the Chairman Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Fundraising Committee in Abuja.

He said, the commission’s ban on the party’s mobile fundraising shortcode was a breach of constitutional provisions and amounts to double standards.

He stressed that the party has no other choice than to seek legal redress of the action.

According to him, the directive to shut the platform was contained in a letter dated January 19, with reference number NCC/CAB/GEN/2015 VOL.1/004, which was signed by officials of the NCC.

Consequently, Mr. Justice Ibrahim Buba said the ban lacus standi.

“The directive by the NCC to the telecoms firms is hereby struck out having been made without power and in contravention of the fundamental rights of the applicant (APC)” he declared.

Justice Buba also ordered the payment of N500m as damages to APC.

The NCC or any of the operators joined in the suit have reacted to the judgement.

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