Court rejects MTN Nigeria’s application for long adjournment

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MTN Etisalat court battle
Etisalat argued further that MTN Nigeria was posing a threat to its business survival. (Image Source: http://indialegalonline.com/)

According to a report via punchng.com, the Federal High Court in Lagos has rejected an application by MTN Nigeria for a long adjournment in the suit filed against it by its competitor – Etisalat.

The battle commenced after Etisalat claimed that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had allegedly given its competitor MTN Nigeria a market advantage over it. According to the report, Etisalat argued that MTN’s “Family and Friends” promo was launched in violation of NCC’s regulation, adding that the promo package was restricting outgoing call traffic to smaller operators “by pricing on-net tariffs lower to make off-net calls unattractive.”

The report reveals that Etisalat argued further that MTN Nigeria was posing a threat to its business survival, adding that if the court did not urgently hear the suit, its business was liable to be eroded within a very short time.

On 21 July, Justice Mohammed Idris had granted the application for an urgent hearing of the suit during the court’s long vacation. At the resumed hearing on 03 August, counsel for MTN, Olasupo Sasore (SAN), appeared in court with an application contesting the urgency claimed by Etisalat. Sasore argued that there was nothing urgent in the matter to warrant it being heard during the court’s vacation, this is according to the report.

Counsel for Etisalat, Kola Awodein (SAN), told the court that although Sasore only served him with a copy of the application on the evening of 31 July, he had already filed his reply. Awodein said that the lawyer representing NCC in the matter had pleaded with him that he was just briefed and he would need time to study the file. According to him, all the parties had agreed to come back to court on 25 September. The judge consequently struck MTN’s application and adjourned until 25 September for further hearing, the report concluded.

Staff Writer