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Copyright infringement: NCC Accuses MTN CEO Of Evading Service of Court Process

Karl Toriola, the CEO of MTN Nigeria,
Karl Toriola, the CEO of MTN Nigeria,

Karl Toriola, chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria has been accused of evading service in a copyright infringement case.

The legal team of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) led by Barrister Gladys Isaac Ojo made the claim before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday.

The case, 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 commission alleged that MTN and others used several soundtracks as callback ringtones without the consent and authorisation of the original owners and in contravention of the Copyright Act.

The company has however filed a preliminary objection to the suit.

In the objection, the telecom giant prayed the court to strike out the alleged copyright infringement case instituted against the defendants by NCC for being defective.

The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, had fixed yesterday for the arraignment of the defendants

But they were absent in court when the case came up.

The counsel to the first, second and third defendants (MTN, its CEO and another), Obafemi Agaba, told the judge that the CEO is yet to be served with the charges.
He said, “The rules of the court are that they be served personally. The NCC has not applied for substituted service.”

He also drew the attention of the court to his application challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the competence of the suit.

But Justice Ekwo advised the MTN lawyer to do everything to ensure that his clients are served with the process.

The judge also said the NCC lawyer ought to know the necessary legal steps to take regarding service.

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