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NCC seeks court’s approval to serve copyright charges on MTN Nigeria CEO via lawyer 

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The legal team of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja for leave to serve its copyright infringement processes on Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, through his lawyers. 

The copyright commission asked the court to permit it to be pasted on MTN’s office in Lagos State. 

This was disclosed in NCC’s motion exparte marked FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 and dated May 20, 2024. 

ThePressNG previously reported that NCC had accused Toriola and MTN Nigeria of evading personal service in a copyright infringement case. 

The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024, was filed by the NCC against MTN Nigeria Communications Limited; Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria; Nkeakam Abhulimen; Fun Mobile Limited; and Yahaya Maibe. 

The NCC had alleged that MTN and others used several soundtracks as callback ringtones without the consent and authorization of the original owners and in contravention of the Copyright Act. 

Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited reacted by asking the Federal High Court, Abuja, to strike out the alleged copyright infringement case instituted against the defendants by the NCC for allegedly being defective. 

They sought “an order striking out Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024-Nigerian Copyright Commission v. MTN Nigeria Communications Limited & Ors. For being incurably defective and incapable of activating the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.” 

At last’s Tuesday proceedings, the MTN CEO did not show up in court to take his plea but Obafemi Agaba, who stood in as counsel for the first second and third defendants (MTN, its CEO, and another), told the judge that the CEO is yet to be served with the charges in the NCC suit. 

Justice Inyang Ekwo further adjourned the case to June 27, 2024, for plea. 

In its motion seen by ThePressNG, the NCC’s lead counsel, Emeka Ogbonna, submitted that despite several attempts at personal service on the 2nd and 3rd defendants, it has become impracticable to serve the charge sheet personally on them. 

He explained that the leave of the court is required to serve the charge sheet and other processes in the matter on the first two defendants by substituted means. 

He contended that the defendants, though not personally served, are aware of the pendency of the charge and have briefed a counsel, who represented them at the court proceedings on 14th May 2024. 

The NCC is the Federal Government agency that oversees all copyright matters in Nigeria, including the administration, regulation, enforcement and prosecution of the Copyright Act. 

MTN is one of the largest mobile network operators in the world, operating in Nigeria with offices spread across the country. 

 

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