Court declines to dismiss case against MTN, others

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that HEDA Resources Centre has a right to institute the case against ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Limited and MTN Nigeria.

It is over the construction of 2,500 base transceiver stations across Nigeria for MTN’s operations within proximity to the base trans-receiver stations that belong to IHS Towers Nigeria.

When the matter, FHC/L/CS/2359/2023, came up for hearing on March 8Justice Bogoro disagreed with MTN Nigeria’s position.

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The telco queried HEDA Resources Centre’s locus in instituting the case and ruled that the matter, being a public interest action, gives the civil society organisation the locus standi to bring the suit.

By refusing to grant MTN’s application to dismiss the suit, the court agreed that HEDA has a valid cause of action and that it has the legal basis to bring the action against the Federal Ministry of Environment, MTN, ATC and others.

HEDA Resource Centre, a CSO active in the promotion of sustainable development and protection of the environment, in the public interest case, seeks to stop MTN Nigeria and ATC Nigeria from citing new base stations where there are already existing base stations nearby, based on health and environmental concerns.

The court adjourned the hearing of ATC’s preliminary objection challenging the competence of HEDA’s suit as well as the hearing of HEDA’s application for interlocutory injunction to April 22.

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