Campaign Blockage: Court orders NCC to pay N500m damages to APC

Muhammadu Buhari talking
President Muhammadu Buhari

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the Nigerian Communications Commission to pay the All Progressives Congress N500 million as damages for unlawfully banning the party’s presidential campaign fund-raising platform.

Justice Ibrahim Buba gave the order in his judgment following a suit filed by the APC against the NCC and Etisalat, MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Airtel Nigeria and Visafone Communications.

The judge, in his judgment, held that the APC was protected by the constitution to pursue the enforcement of its fundamental rights once they were violated.

Mr. Buba, thereafter, dismissed NCC’s counter affidavit and ruled that the actions of the respondents were illegal and unconstitutional.

The judge held that the damages were to be paid jointly and severally by all the respondents.

The political party had sued the commission, demanding N25bn as damages, for allegedly banning its presidential campaign fund-raising platform.

The APC had accused the NCC of instructing the 2nd to 6th respondents to discontinue an SMS platform it created for the purpose of getting donations from willing members of the public for its presidential campaign.

The party claimed to have initiated the participatory fund-raising platform as a way of getting every member of the general public to contribute N100 to its presidential campaign fund each time they sent APC as an SMS to 35350.

The APC had deposed to an affidavit stating that within few hours of launching the strategy, the party was getting about four to five text messages in a minute and had received a total of 5,400 SMS before the NCC directed the telecommunications service providers to discontinue the scheme.

The party, however, claimed that NCC, in a letter dated January 19, instructed the other respondents to shut down the platform, warning them “to avoid running political advertisement/promotions that will portray them as being partisan”.

The APC said the commission also threatened to sanction any of the telecommunication service providers which failed to comply with its order.

The party, however, considered the NCC’s instruction and the consequent shutting down of its fund-raising platform as both discriminatory and an infringement on its fundamental rights as protected by Section 39 of the Constitution and Articles 9 (1) (2) and 19 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

It argued that NCC did not give the same instruction to the other respondents when the Peoples Democratic Party set up such short code which was managed by one Wagitel Communications Ltd., to raise funds for the campaign of the party in 2010.

(NAN)


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  • Akiika

    Lobatan! this is what i tell folks that simply give in to the impunity and our non-working system, still do the right thing by going to court even if you don’t get justice, you would have made the point that what is wrong is wrong. We will overcome what Jonathan and his gangs have turned Nigeria into.

  • Gidi

    A quality verdict that will strengthen democratic process and institution in Nigeria. The idea of using various Federal institutions to block political opposition in Nigeria is uncivilized and myopic.

    After the election is over, I want to see National Assembly pass a new law that will criminalize all these bad behaviors, including people that promote electoral violence, and head of government agencies that use their positions to set democratic process backward.

    The only way we can move forward in Nigeria, and hold elected officials accountable is if there is a level playing field, where elections are contested on competing ideas and policies. With this verdict, we’ve taken one step towards this destination.

  • concerned9ja

    This money is nothing to the NCC. The body has billions of slush and idle fund which it generates from oppressed Nigerians and sit on it. The job of NCC is job for the boys and the cronies. Yet, Nigerians don’t look into NCC because it is not an oil concern

    • NamesAre4Tombstones

      NCC will never pay them a dime. They would rather spend 20 billion on defence all the way to the Supreme Court, let us see who will get tired. Afterall, NCC is govt.

      By the time we reach the Supreme Court, the matter will be dismissed, and APC would have lost money on legal fees.

      • Dan Arewa

        Will that be before or after May 29?

  • Rommel

    I have asked repeatedly and I ask again,who would have believed that Jonathan would become a Leviathan?

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      I did, bruv.

      Sadly, we are yet to see the worst of this monster.

      As I wrote then, I sincerely wish I am proven wrong for the sake of Nigeria.

  • segun

    JONATHAN HAS DESTROYED ALL THIS INSTITUTION

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    This is the type of judgement that will serve as a deterrent to PDP elements ho have been installed into all strategic positions in all strata of our public offices.President Jonathan has destroyed the basic fabric of Nigeria public institutions with deepen massive corruption practices.It will be hard to enrase and eliminate corruption already entrenched widely in Nigerian public structures.

  • Philomena

    But this old man is really very old. See his sunken jaw, sunken eyes, even though he now uses over sized glasses to cover up aging lines, and not to forget the sunken lips etc etc etc…will the brain not be sunken too?

    • humm

      Blah, blah, blah. He is still going to be the next president, wether you like it or not, so deal with it.

    • bigbros

      I pray you never get to his age so you don’t have sunken Jaw, sunken eyes and lips. God will forever punish you for hating a fellow man on account of age.

    • Omotolaaraujo

      You douche bag! My parents are aged and look that way too. RESPECT!

    • tundemash

      May you not live to reach his age so you dont have sunken eyes and jaws !!!

  • burning spear

    APPAEAL AGAINST THE JUDGEMENT———–IF ITS IN LAGOS STATE THEN WE KNOW HOW JUDGES OPERATE IN THAT STATE—WITH TINUBU–

    • Uzoma John

      You are finished. We have only 4 days for your crumb to stop. Prepare to join Bode George , Jona and FFK to exile. Devil’s advocate.

  • halima

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  • igbiki

    Good Judgement, now they would have to pay through their noses.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Procured judgement in double quick time!!! Some Nigerian Judges should be executed by firing squad.

    • tundemash

      Omo Ole Orafidiya,

      Just a few more days and u will be gone like your father !

    • Lawrence Azubuike

      Taniod

  • pinky minaj

    With three days to the presidential election, a fresh survey by an independent company has revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now enjoys a 17 per cent lead over the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), with a margin of at least 17 per cent as they head to the presidential election scheduled to hold on Saturday, March 28.

    Coming against a subsisting projection that Buhari’s APC would completely capture the votes of the South-west geo-political zone, a situation that could place the APC in good stead, the new survey shows that the reality on ground revealed that Jonathan might have unlocked the pathway to even out votes in that region.

    A few of the survey highlights by Chike Uchime of Forward Magazine, a research and publishing company since 1995 and Daniel Dickson-Okezie of Zevland Ventures Limited, also a leading research and security consultancy firm, indicate that President Jonathan is primed to win the elections in view of the new realities.

    Using 24,000 sample sizes across 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to decide through an opinion survey, who will win the presidential election, the outcome of the research exercise was based on three critical factors.

    The first is the respondents’ views on the achievements or performance of the president from 2011 to date and to see how this can affect his chances in the coming election. The second factor dwelt on the correlation between the outcome of the 2011 presidential election and the likely outcome of the 2015 presidential election, while the third factor was a detailed study of the various dynamics that have taken place since 2011 and the likely impact on the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

    According to the survey, “When asked which of the TWO main political parties they preferred, 65 per cent of the respondents opted for PDP, while 31 per cent favoured the APC, one per cent went for other parties, while the remaining two per cent went for none of the parties.”

    When the respondents were asked how they would rate Jonathan’s performance in ten critical areas namely: security, agriculture, power, dducation, transportation, aviation, press freedom, fight against corruption, human rights and job creation, somen empowerment, they allegedly claimed to be impressed on the average.

    “When the respondents were asked if they would vote for Jonathan based on their responses to the previous questions, 62.2 per cent answered in the affirmative, and 29.7 percent in the negative, while 4.1 percent were undecided.

    “On the question whether Buhari is considered more capable in addressing the critical issues in the areas listed, 30.7 per cent answered in the affirmative, while 65 per cent answered in the negative. Another 4.3 per cent of the respondents were undecided. From the foregoing, it was becoming visible the likely direction of their votes.”

    The survey report highlighted the dynamics that have taken place since the 2011 election and the likely impact on the outcome of this year’s presidential election.

    According to the report, “Issues addressed here include: (i)The effect of intra-party conflicts; (ii) The effect of mass decampment/cross-carpeting; (iii) The effect of endorsements by ethno-religious groups, socio-cultural groups, paramount rulers and others; and (iv)  inter-religious/ethnic conflicts since 2011

    “Each of these issues will either have a positive or negative impact on the candidates. For example, the mass defection of some PDP governors and party stalwarts to the APC may affect the PDP negatively in some states. However, this likely set-back may be cancelled out by some high-profile defection to PDP such as that of Governor Mimiko of Ondo State and those of former Governors Peter Obi, Attahiru Bafarawa, Ibrahim Shekarau among others.

    “Also, the effect of the conflict between the Fulani cattle rearers and indigenous farmers mainly in the North Central states and Taraba State in North-east may likely COST Buhari, who is a Fulani, some important votes in the areas concerned. Equally, the increase in bloody clashes between the Hausa Fulani and the people of Southern Kaduna might likely tilt a win in favour of Jonathan.

    “The volume of endorsements by traditional rulers and ethnic nationality groups among others in the South-east, South-south and South-west has enhanced President Jonathan’s chances.
    “Another critical factor examined which may work in favour of the president is the recent and aggressive deployment of the social media network which now ensures a wider reach and delivery of its programmes to the people. Hitherto, the APC was in control and more effective in the use of the social media.

    “In conclusion, based on our findings as enumerated above, President  Jonathan, the presidential candidate of the PDP stands an excellent chance of winning the 2015 presidential election by at least a 17 per cent margin over his closest rival,” the report stated.
    The report, in its footnote, stated: “It should be noted that the report did away with the dubious format of allocating states to the president based on some illusory expectations. The report is the outcome of extensive field research with real people.”

    • Ogom

      BS

    • Julius

      Hahahahahaha, you are indeed a funny character in every sense. You actually think that people will believe this ? . what you are doing is a tactics a losing campaign deploys all over the world. You failed miserable because if I know this, millions of other people knows it as well

  • Oskirin

    congrats APC! hope dey will obey d court judgement and pay ds money? enof of lawlessness by govt agencies…

  • Femi Oladehin

    Legendary