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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Breach Of Contract: Firm Sues NBC, Demands N1trn Damages

A communication firm, Pinnacle Communications Limited has dragged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and five other defendants before a Federal High Court in Abuja over alleged breach of license agreement.

Recall that Pinnacle communications Limited emerged the winner of the 2nd Broadcasting Signal Distribution license Network for transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in July, 2014.

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/897/2014, the plaintiff named the NBC, its director-general, Emeka MBA, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), MTS Communications, Details Nigeria Limited and NTA-Star Network Limited as 1st to 6th defendants.

In the writ of summons brought pursuant to Order 6 Rule 1 (2) and (8), filed, Pinnacle Communications Limited is demanding among others, “damages in the sum of N1,274, 076, 000 (One Trillion, Two Hundred and Seventy-Four Billion, Seventy-Six Naira), being loss of earnings and profits accruing to the plaintiff arising from the affore described breaches by the 1st and 2nd defendants.

“An order directing the 1st defendant to refund the sum of N618, 750, 000, being fee paid by the plaintiff for the purported terrestrial digital signal license issued by the 1st defendant contrary to the draft license contained in the request for proposal wwhich formed the basis of the open bid process between the plaintiff and the 1st defendant.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 4th, 5th and 6th defendants by themselves, subsidiaries, servants, officers, agents and any person or body acting for them or under them, from carrying or purporting to carry and distribute any terrestrial digital signal in Nigeria.

“A declaration that by section 2 of the National Broadcasting Commission Act, Laws of the Federation 2004, the 1st defendant is under obligation to implement the policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and in particular, the policy contained in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s White Paper dated April 2012 and titled Government White Paper on Transition from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in Nigeria.

The matter which is before Justice Abdu Kafarati could not go on yesterday, due to the judge’s absence, consequently, the suit was adjourned till October 20, 2015 for hearing.

Speaking to journalists at the court premises yesterday, the plaintiff’s counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN), said the NBC allegedly issued licenses to other companies after the plaintiff won the sole bid for the distribution of broadcast signals.

Daudu said: “Pinnacle had been given a license, and the license has been compromised by the NBC who issued multiple licenses, thereby making the license to Pinnacle unprofitable.

“So, the court is to decide whether the action of NBC is right or wrong. We have an injunction to stop NBC from going forward with issuing licenses to other companies.”

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