LAWYERS under the
auspices of Alliance for
the Defence of Democracy
in Nigeria has called for
the immediate resignation
of the executive vice
chairman of the Nigerian
C o m m u n i c a t i o n s
Commission, NCC,
Prof Umar Danbata, for
getting involved in the
negotiation that led to
the reduction of the fine
imposed on the Mobile
Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s
Network, MTN, and
for non-deactivation of
improperly registered SIM
cards which, according
to them, contributed
immensely to the security
challenges in the country.
The lawyers demanded
that he should vacate his
office within five days
or be forced to do so, for
indirectly facilitating
insurgency and crime in the
In a letter dated May
12, 2016, and signed by
its secretary general, Mr.
Cletus Onwu, addressed to
the NCC boss and copied to
the president and minister
of communications, the
groupd called his attention
to the fact that MTN
was fine N1.04 trillion
for failing to de-activate
improperly registered SIM
cards payable on or before
November 16, 2015.
It stressed that the
reduction of the fine to N780
billion instead of revoking
the telecom operator’s
licence contravened the
Nigerian Communications
“Going by sections
45 of the Nigerian
Communications Act, 2003,
the operating licence of
MTN ought to be revoked
consequent upon their
failure to meet the stated
payment deadline.
“Surprisingly, you
succumbed to pressure
within and outside
Nigeria and caused your
organisation to write MTN
purportedly informing
them of your decision
to reduce the fine by 35
percent to N674 billion, and
later N780 billion payable
by December 31, 2015.
“This purported
reduction of fine clearly
contravenes sections 19
and 20 of regulations
on the registration of
telecom subscribers 2011
which provides for a
mandatory fine of N200,000
against telecom for
failing to deactivate each
unregistered SIM card and
do not give room for any
manner of reduction in the
way you have done,” the
letter stated.
Calling to mind the grave
security implications of
unregistered SIM cards and
the menace of terrorism
which has caused immense
casualties, the legal
practitioners described
Danbatta’s negotiation
act as criminal conspiracy
against Nigeria for his own
selfish interest, thereby
demanding his immediate
resignation or be subjected
to do so.
“That in the unlikely
event that you fail to heed
our demand as
contained herein, we shall
without further recourse to
you, mobilise the media,
civil society, organisations
and members of the public
in thousands to occupy your
office until the attention of
President Muhammadu
Buhari and the international
community is drawn to our
effort at saving Nigeria
from the evil hands of
terrorists and how you
have truncated our effort
for your selfish gains.”
The lawyers also
threatened to forward
petitions aimed at
criminal proceedings
against him and also
lodge a complaint at the
International Criminal
Court in The Hague for
facilitating crimes against

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