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NIN: Lagos activist seeks N10bn damages from telecom companies

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NIN: Lagos activist seeks N10bn damages from telecom companies

Telecommunication companies in Nigeria

Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun


By Sandra Umeh

Lagos-based activist and lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, has dragged telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria as well as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to court challenging the recent barring of phone lines of citizens

Ogungbeje joined Dr. Aminu Mada, the Chief Executive Officer of NCC, and MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Airtel Networks Nigeria Ltd. Globacom Ltd and Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. (EMTS 9 Mobile).

He asked the court for a claim of N10 billion against the telecom companies, as exemplary damages for their unlawful restrictions on phone lines of Nigerians.

In his affidavit, the applicant avers that sometime in January, the respondents had threatened to bar or deactivate the mobile lines of Nigerians, whose phone lines were not linked with their National Identification Number (NIN).

Ogungbeje avers that following this threat. he had proceeded to court and had obtained an order on Feb. 22, restraining the respondents from barring or deactivating the phone lines of Nigerians, pending the determination of the suit.

According to the applicant, to his amazement, he discovered that on Feb. 28, his mobile lines as well as those of many Nigerians, had been barred by the respondents in defiance to a subsisting court order.

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The applicant therefore, now seeks a declaration that the act by the respondents in barring and deactivating the lines of Nigerians from Feb. 28 till date, in spite of a subsisting court order, is wrongful and illegal .

He seeks a declaration that the respondents being a creation of law, are subject to the court of law and its judicial powers, and are under an obligation to obey same.

He consequently, seeks an order, setting aside the entire directives, restricting the phone lines of Nigerians .

The applicant also wants an order directing the respondents to immediately unlock and unrestrict the phone lines of affected Nigerians.

He claims the sum of N10 billion against the telecom companies, as exemplary damages for their unlawful restrictions on phone lines of Nigerians.

Applicant also want an order of perpetual injunction restraining the responders from taking further steps or action against such affected citizens in relation to the facts of the case.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the new suit. (NAN)

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