he Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama has ordered the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN), Usman Mohammed, to appear before it on September 5.
In court documents seen by News media, the judge, Peter Affen, said the order is to enable Mr Mohammed to explain to the court why he should not be sent to prison for disobeying its order restraining the company from shutting down plants and machinery of Phase3 Telecom Limited.
Leadership newspaper had reported how the court on May 28, 2018, asked TCN not to shut down the plants and instruments of the independent Fibre Optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, pending the hearing and determination of the suit filed by the telecom firm.
The court also stopped the TCN boss from acting on the letter by TCN dated August 30, 2017, purportedly terminating the agreement between it and phase3 Telecom on March 20, 2006, to design, build, finance and operate the Fibre Optic Telecommunications Infrastructure (Phase3 Concession agreement), pending the determination of the suit.
Consequently, on Friday, August 16, Mr Affen gave an order granting leave to the telecom firm to effect service of form 49 (notice to show cause why order no: R/N 11623088 and 11623089 should not be made) on TCN and Mr Mohammed who would face a jail term for disobeying its order.
The court then ordered that the applicant (Phase 3 Telecom Ltd) serve Mr Mohammed and TCN the committal to prison notice by pasting the processes at the head office of TCN at Plot 441 Zambezi Crescent, Maitama, Abuja and publishing it as adverts in THISDAY and LEADERSHIP newspapers.
TCN had on March 20, 2006, signed an agreement with Phase3 to design, build, finance and operate the Fibre optical cable telecommunication infrastructure.
But in a letter dated August 30, 2017, and addressed to the management of Telecom firm, TCN cancelled the agreement, citing breach of contract terms.
The telecom company had constantly denied breach of the agreement terms, claiming ownership of the fibre optic infrastructure.
It said despite inheriting a non-existent fibre optic network from TCN, the concessionaires have deployed over 3000km and installed state-of-art fibre optic equipment, expending more than $100 million as capital and operating expenditure on building the infrastructure.
Phase3 Telecom said TCN continued to make all the unfounded allegations in an attempt to resist its charges for the deployment of fibre optic cables as agreed and communicated by the National Economic Council (NEC) towards affordable broadband services in the country.
Regulators and industry experts have said this runs contrary to the efforts of the federal government to provide the enabling environment for private sector investment to grow the economy.