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NCC appeals N500m damages award for APC




Dissatisfied with the ruling of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should pay the sum of N500 million as damages to All Progressive Congress (APC), counsel to the NCC, Paul Usoro, has gone to the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the judgment;

The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, gave the verdict in the suit filed by the party against NCC and five others, which include Etisalat, MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Visafone.

Justice Buba in his judgment held that APC was protected by the constitution to push for the enforcement of its fundamental right once violated.

He thereafter threw out NCC’s counter-affidavit and ruled that the actions of respondents were illegal and unconstitutional.

The damages were going to be paid jointly and severally by all the respondents.
But, citing eight grounds for the appeal, the Learned Counsel said he has the mandate of his client, the NCC to appeal against the entire judgment.

A statement from the commission, yesterday, signed by its Head of Media Department, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, said the learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria averred that the trial judge erred in law when he dismissed the Appellant’s Notice of Preliminary Objection of March 2, 2015, which challenged the competence of the suit on the grounds that same was unmeritorious.

He also said on ground two that the learned Trial Judge erred in law when he held that the suit of the APC disclosed cause of action against the applicant. Usoro in the notice of appeal noted that the trial court misdirected itself in law and fact when it held that the suit as constituted fell under the context of chapter IV of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and not rooted in contract.

He explained in the notice of appeal that the trial court erred in law and occasioned grave miscarriage of justice when it held that the first respondent has seemingly complained of discrimination by the appellant. The notice of appeal also said the learned trial judge erred in law when he held that the appellant has indeed discriminated against the 1st respondent when it granted the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organization in 2011, the right to use short codes and did not allow the first respondent same right in 2015.

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