Following the legal action taken by Etisalat against MTN Nigeria over the acquisition of Visafone. Etisalat Nigeria has lost the case it instituted against MTN Nigeria as Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, yesterday threw out the suit.
Etisalat’s complaint was hinged on the administrative powers of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which had already approved the transaction between MTN and Visafone, and as such both Visafone and MTN were not relevant parties to the suit.
The court in it’s ruling upheld the defendants’ argument, as canvassed by Mr. Niyi Adegbonmire, SAN (Counsel for MTN and Visafone) and struck out the matter on the grounds that: Etisalat failed to fulfill condition precedent as required by the Nigerian Communications Act, as Etisalat failed to exhaust the judicial review process as mandated by law.
Due to the written document by NCC to Etisalat, explaining that the transaction between Visafone and MTN did not lower competition in the telecommunications industry, the court found the letter, which was exhibited in court, fatal to Etisalat’s case against MTN.
The Court delivered its ruling in favour of MTN’s and Visafone’s Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to adjudicate on the matter. The court also faulted the approach by Etisalat in instituting the action contrary to the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act.