In January 2015, the APC engaged the services of Airtel, Etisalat, Globacom, MTN, and Visafone to run SMS-based fund-raising campaigns, but at some point, the NCC stepped in to threaten the operators to stop the running of the said campaign. Many saw this as the NCC acting beyond its powers. Anyone – individual or organisation – should be free to engage the services of any telco for any legitimate activity. The 5 operators backed down and took down the campaign.
As such, APC headed to court for redress. Yesterday, Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos said in his ruling: “The directive by the NCC to the telecoms firms is hereby struck out having been made without power and in contravention of the fundamental rights of the applicant (APC)”. The sum of N500m has been ordered to be paid to APC in damages.