The bid by Etisalat Nigeria Limited to reverse the acquisition of Visafone’s 800megahertz (MHZ) spectrum by MTN Nigeria has hit a brick wall, as Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Thursday, struck out the suit.
The suit had been filed by Etisalat challenging MTN’s use of the spectrum following the acquisition of Visafone, but the judge struck it out for lack of jurisdiction.
Ruling on a preliminary objection filed by MTN, Justice Buba held that Etisalat failed to fulfill the condition precedent as required by the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) Act by exhausting the judicial review process as mandated by law.
The court also held that it would amount to interference if it dabble into the responsibility of the NCC because the constitution states that the NCC shall have exclusive power to regulate the telecommunication sector.
The judge further held that Etisalat cannot challenge the acquisition of Visafone by MTN because the regulator saddled with the responsibility to monitor and approve such sale is the NCC which is not joined as a party in this suit.
He pointed out that there is an exhibit before the court showing the approval of the NCC for the sale, and that without the NCC joined as a party in the suit, it cannot stand as it was now.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears