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NCC seeks stay of judgment’s execution in APC suit

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appeal-courtFOLLOWING a notice of appeal against the judgment of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) violated the rights of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and awarded N500 million as damages against the Commission, legal counsel to the NCC, Paul Usoro, has filed a motion for stay of execution of judgment. This is in reaction to the judgment of March 24, 2015.

The APC filed its suit in January challenging the directive of the NCC contained in its letter of January 19, 2015 advising service providers not to be partisan in their advertisements and promotions run by them.

APC alleged that this directive violated its fundamental human rights and thereafter claimed reliefs including monetary damages principally against the commission.

Usoro, in a statement, yesterday said that a notice of preliminary objection of March 2, 2015 challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos on the grounds that the suit disclosed no cause of action against NCC and APC’s claims and reliefs are alien to the provision of chapter iv of the 1999 Constitution, were ignored by the judge.

The judge, who dismissed NCC’s preliminary objection on the grounds that the suit was indeed a fundamental human right suit, disclosed a cause of action against the commission and granted generous damages of N500 million to APC.

Usoro said that the stay of execution of the judgment and injunction are necessary pending the appeal.
The Commission secured on March 27, to settle the records of appeal transmission to the Court of Appeal.
The stay of execution of judgment is to arrest and stop the colossal damages granted by the Federal High Court in favour of APC.
It is primarily to prevent APC from going ahead in executing or complying with the judgment pending the appeal filed by the commission.

“Whilst the injunction pending appeal will restrain the APC and indeed other respondents in the suit from implementing or enforcing or giving effect, howsoever to the orders of the court as contained in the judgment, pending the determination of the Appeal filed by the NCC,” Usoro explained.

The appeal is on eight solid grounds including that:

• The 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 it was unmeritorious;
• The learned trial judge erred in law when he said the suit of the APC disclosed cause of action;
• The trial court misdirected itself in law and fact when it held that the suit fell under the context of chapter iv of the Nigerian constitution of 1999 as amended;
•The trial court erred in law and occasioned grave miscarriage of justice;
• The trial judge erred in law when he held that the Appellant has indeed discriminated against APC,
• The learned trial judge misdirected itself in law and on facts when it awarded N500 million damages and compensation for APC.
• The judgment is against the weight of evidence and submissions before the trial court, among others.

No date has been fixed



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