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Court throws out suit seeking to halt MTN’s network expansion

Justice Yellin Bogoro of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has struck out a suit seeking to stop MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and ATC…

Justice Yellin Bogoro of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has struck out a suit seeking to stop MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Limited from constructing new Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) across Nigeria.

The Incorporated Trustees of HEDA Resource Centre had commenced an action against the Federal Ministry of Environment and Ecological Management, MTN, ATC and others, in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/2359/2023 at the Federal High Court, Lagos claiming that ATC had proposed to build 2,500 Base Transceiver Stations for MTN’s operations which it claimed were within ‘close proximity’ to Base Transceiver Stations belonging to IHS Towers Nigeria Limited.

Justice Bogoro on Friday in her ruling on the preliminary objection filed by ATC through its lawyer, Professor Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, held that the Plaintiff’s suit failed to disclose a reasonable cause of action and was speculative in nature.

The Court also held that the HEDA Resources failed to show that there was any concrete plan by ATC and MTNN to build BTS within ‘close proximity’ of IHS Nigeria Limited’s BTS. Accordingly, HEDA Resources’ suit was struck out.

HEDA Resource had earlier obtained an interim order from the Court to stop ATC and MTN from constructing any Base Transceiver Stations across Nigeria.

It was also gathered that on March 8, 2024, the Court had set aside the Interim Injunction based on the argument of MTN’s lawyer, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, that it that the Interim Injunction was obtained by concealment of key facts.

The prevalent view amongst analysts and experts in the telecommunications industry is that the judgment of the Federal High Court was a step forward for the Telecommunication Industry and important for continuous network expansion.

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