N780b fine: MTN opts for out-of-court-settlement with NCC

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

MTN Nigeria has asked for an out-of-court settlement in the suit it filed against the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) for imposing N1.04 trillion fine (later reduced to N780 billion) on it for failing to deactivate some 5.2million pre-registered subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.

At the resumed hearing of the matter at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, the telco sought an out-of-court settlement with its regulator.

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, who granted the prayer of the telco, however gave an ultimatum of eight weeks for the parties involved in the suit to come back with their mutually-agreed decision on the matter.

Justice Idris subsequently adjourned the matter till March 18, when the two parties are expected back in court.

Piqued by the quantum of the fine, MTN had gone to court to challenge the power of the NCC to impose the fine, based on the claim that NCC lacked the statutory power to impose such punishment under its establishing laws.

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