The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, communications minister, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, MTN and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), have been dragged before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja by a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Raphael Igbokwe, and a group, Nigerians against Exploitation by Telecommunications Operators. They filed a lawsuit regarding the reduction of the N1.04trillion fine imposed on MTN by NCC to NGN330 billion.

In suit FHC/ABJ/CS/448/2016, the plaintiffs want the court to determine if the defendants are constitutionally empowered to reduce the fine, which was calculated based on the existing regulations.

Igbokwe said that the defendants lack the power to amend, alter, adjust or vary any provisions of legislation or law validly made by the National Assembly, or any rules, regulations and orders validly made by pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly.

According to the lawmaker, his interest in the case is based on the need to develop the country’s jurisprudence. They also want the determination of the court on whether or not Sections 45 (1), 146(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act, and Sections 19(1) and (2) and 20(1) and (2) of the Nigerian Communications (Registration of Telephone Subscribers) Regulations 2011 have been breached.

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Paul Adepoju
Paul ADEPOJU is a Nigerian freelance journalist, managing editor, blogger and published writer (3 books already). He has vast experience working with various media organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. He covers stories on various genres and for various audiences. He is the managing editor of HealthNewsNG.com which is Africa's leading health news website; he also manages IBPulse.com, a city blog that focuses on happenings in his home town of Ibadan, southwest Nigeria. He has won several awards including Nigeria's Vanguard Newspaper's Young Nigerian Making The Difference award; a certificate of recognition from UNESCO and Goi Peace Institute in Japan; a finalist at the International Press Institute's Young Nigerian Journalist of the Year award; and was the only African finalist in the NetImpact/FedEx Global Access Essay Competition.