An Oyo State High Court has refused to grant the prayer of a subscriber, Toyin Bilikisu Adejare, asking for over N56m damages against telecommunication company, MTN.
The subscriber had filed a suit marked 1/729/2014 against MTN that the court should declare that the act of the defendant to block her mobile line without her request, instruction and consent is unlawful and illegal.
She also prayed the court to declare that the act of the telecommunication company was tantamount to trespassing on her right to use the line.
She wanted the court to award over N1m as specialized damages and N5m and N50m as damages for trespass and general damages respectively.
Tomiwa Akinbiyi held the brief for the claimant while the duo of Isiaka Abiola Olagunju and Olajumoke Oladejo stood in for the defendant.
While delivering judgment after six years of legal tussle, the presiding judge, Justice E.O Ajayi said, “It follows that the claimant by her pleading in paragraph 13 of the reply to the statement of defence had technically admitted that there are terms and conditions for purchase and of use of a SIM starter pack”.
“The claimant in her evidence said she never requested for a swap of her line at the defendant’s Abeokuta connect office and said further that the signature was not hers meaning it was forged.”
“However, since forgery is a crime, the law put the burden on the claimant, in this case, to prove the same beyond a reasonable doubt”.
“The claimant failed to prove that the signature in exhibit B was forged coupled with the fact that same was tendered without any objection led this court to be of considered view that there are terms and conditions guiding the transaction between the claimant and the defendant and I hold accordingly”.
Alluding to previous cases, the judge said, “In the light of the above, I am of the view that the defendant by exhibits B, C and the averment of the claimant in paragraph 13 of the reply was absolved from any loss or damage that might be caused by the negligent act or omission on the part of MTN, its employee and or its agent. I hold claimed. From the foregoing, I refuse legs1 and 2 of the claimant’s claims”.
On N50m damages claimed, the court concluded, saying” By leg 5, the claimant’s claim the sum of N50m as general damages. In line with my reasoning in the course of this judgment, the claim for general damages is refused”.