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Contract Breach: Court Fines MTN 250m

The feud between the management of Corporate Communications Investment Limited and MTN Mobile Telecommunication over contractual agreement may have ended when a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt Tuesday delivered judgement indicting MTN, the defendant.

The court presided over by Justice S. C Amadi in the ruling directed MTN to pay N250m damages to the plaintiff, Corporate Communications Investment.

The case which was instituted in the court by Corporate Communications against MTN in March 2011 was laid to rest by Hon. Justice S. C. Amadi of High court 7 Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Delivering his judgment on the matter, the presiding Judge, Tuesday 6th August, 2013 took a critical look at Exhibit A among others, which bothers on the contractual agreement that was said to have been signed only by the claimant, Corporate Communications and the said letter of contract termination issued to the claimant by the defendant, MTN was signed by an unknown person.

Looking at the submissions and cross examinations by the claimant and defendant counsels, Justice Amadi opined that the contractual letter which was signed only by the claimant as tendered, could not be held against the claimant, since the letter was sent to the claimant, corporate communications by the defendant MTN and received by it after the signing. He maintained further that the letter of contract termination issued to the claimant could not be substantiated since it was signed without any name on it.

Justice Amadi in his final ruling awarded the sum of N250,000,000 in favour of Corporate Communications Investment Limited against its initial demand of N500,000,000 as total cost of damages.

Speaking with reporters at the end of the judgment, Chief Ken Nwala, the Managing Director of Corporate Communications Investment Limited disclosed that they had a trade partners agreement with MTN in 2005 of which they were accredited to do business in Awka, Anambra State.

He explained they were supposed to be paid some entitlements after their relocation back to Port Harcourt, but were denied such by MTN, hence their resolve to continue in business with them by acquiring offices, vehicles and a whole lot of equipment which they did as directed by MTN.

Chief Nwala who said that each New agreement signed supersedes the previous, expressed shock that the contract was terminated, adding that every move to meet with MTN on the breach of contract proved abortive. Nwala said that they had no option than to approach the court in March 2011 and the subsequent ruling of 6th August, 2013, where their prayers to the court to affirm that the termination of their contract agreement by MTN was unlawful. If they were entitled to the loss incurred during the period and the demand for damages, were upheld by the court in its final ruling.

Nwala however disclosed that he will liaise with his lawyer, Barr. Joshua N. to see if they will appeal on the 250m granted by the court in their favour or accepts the verdict of the court.### 

By Blaise Elumezie

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