JUST IN: MTN Wins As Court Lifts Order Barring Building Of Base Stations

MTN Wins As Court Lifts Order Barring Building Of Base Stations

MTN Wins As Lifts Order Barring Building Of Base Stations

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A sitting in has dismissed a prior restraining mobile telecommunication network service provider MTN from building base stations in the country.

This was contained in a ruling issued on March 8 by Justice Yellim Bogoro of the Federal High Court in Lagos, which held that none of the network service provider's base transceiver stations violated the regulations of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on the spacing between towers, as opposed to assertions by the Incorporated Trustees of HEDA Resource Centre.

The ruling also lifted the barring order on ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Limited from building base transceiver stations.

In a suit numbered FHC/L//2359/2023, HEDA had filed an ex-parte motion praying the court to stop ATC from continuing the construction of its 2,500 base stations, alleging that the planned base stations were close to those belonging to IHS Towers Nigeria.

Listing the Federal Ministry of Environment and Ecological Management, MTN, ATC, and others as defendants in the , HEDA argued that such proximity was in contravention of the NCC's regulations and eventually obtained an interim order dated November 21 barring the defendants from proceeding with the stations.

In swift action, MTN, through its lawyers, Kenna Partners, led by Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), applied to Justice Bogoro to set aside the order, arguing that HEDA's claims were not substantial enough for the court to have barred the defendants from continuing with their planned projects.

He insisted that HEDA concealed some facts before the court, stating that the jury would have issued a varying judgment if the plaintiff had not done so.

Likewise, ATC, through its lawyer, Nicholas Okafor, who followed suit in the pleas of MTN's lawyers, argued that the order was not only made without jurisdiction but that it was also baseless in law, maintaining that none of MTN's base transceiver stations violated NCC's regulations on spacing between towers.

In a ruling, Justice Bogoro ordered a lift on the previous court order obtained by HEDA, restricting the defendants from building their proposed transceiver base stations, and adjourned the matter to April 22 for the next hearing.

Meanwhile, the base stations, if built, would increase both companies' efficiency and reliability to customers as telecommunication service providers in Nigeria, which has themost active internet users in and requires reliable internet connectivity to maintain its position while enhancing productivity and the overall success of small and medium-scale businesses.

As of December 2021, ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Limited had 7,563 towers, ranking third on the list of service providers with the highest number of telecom towers. First on the list was IHS (Nigeria) Limited with 16,853 towers, while Limited ranked second with 8,742 telecom towers.

MTN Communications ranked fifth with 565 towers, just after PAN African Tower Limited had 763 towers standing.

Also, MTN has pleaded with its subscribers regarding therecent outage in internet connectivity currently ravaging nearly a dozen African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, and , amongst others.

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