A civil society group, HEDA Resource Centre, has gotten a court order, albeit temporarily, to stop MTN and American Towers from building base stations in areas where they already exist.
According to a certified true copy made available to our correspondent, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos restrained MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and its associate, the ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Ltd., from overcrowding the environment with base stations pending the determination of the motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction.
It stated that Justice Yellim Bogoro initially issued the order on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, and reaffirmed it on Thursday, December 7, 2023, when the case of HEDA vs FMEEM & 4 Ors, with suit number FHC/L/CS/2359/2023, came up for hearing.
It disclosed that HEDA Resource Centre had gone to the court to request an injunction to stop MTN Nigeria and ATC Nigeria from setting up new base stations where there were already existing base stations nearby, citing health and environmental concerns.
It read, “In the court sitting, the presiding judge upheld the prayers of the plaintiff/applicant, the Incorporated Trustees of the HEDA Resource Centre, and ordered the 4th and 5th Defendants, ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Ltd and MTN Nigeria Communications Plc respectively, together with their “servants, agents, privies and/or assigns from commencing, continuing or completing the construction or erection or installation of any base trans-receiver stations/towers/masts within close proximity to IHS’ existing BTS or operating any BTS within close proximity to IHS’ existing BTS pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
“The judge also ordered the “5th Defendant, (MTN Nigeria Communications Plc) whether by its servants, agents, privies and/or assigns from moving, relocating, transferring any of its telecommunication equipment to any BTS site being or has been constructed, erected or built by the 4th Defendant (ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Ltd), which is in close proximity to the IHS’ existing BTS pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
According to the civil society, this allegedly puts on hold the implementation of the relocation of 2,500 towers project from IHS to ATC announced by MTN recently until the judge further hears from the parties on February 14, 2024.
It noted that going by the ruling, the ex-parte injunctions subsist, at least, till February 14, 2024, when the court is expected to rule on the motions pending before it.