Two legal luminaries, have approached the Federal High Court, sitting in Calabar, to determine whether sending Legal Opinions by MTN Nigeria to its customers for N50 was lawful or not.
The lawyers, Dr. Enieja Alobo and Barr. Abo Esor, in a statement, made available to journalists in Abuja, noted that the act is contrary to the dictates of the legal practitioners Act, and are therefore urging the court to grant a perpetual injunction on the firm and its agents rom rendering such services.
“We have approached the Federal High Court to determine as follows:
“Whether the action of the Defendant in rendering legal opinion or advice or service to subscribers upon charges at the rate of N50 per week on their mobile phone titled: “Get daily tips with mobile lawyer.
Text Law to 33334 at N50 per week” amounts to lawful practice by the Defendant.
The statement also says that the lawyers would like the court to determine; “Whether the action of the Defendant, in rendering legal opinion or advice or service to subscribers upon charges is ultra vire, illegal and unlawful, not being a legal practitioner by virtue of Section 1(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act Cap LII LFN 2004.”
Other issues to bet determined by the suit, according to the statement, include; “A Declaration that a Lawyer employed or engaged or retained by the Defendant and who renders legal opinion or advice or service pon charges by the Defendant by sharing his or her legal fee with the Defendant is unprofessional, illegal and unlawful by virtue of Rule 53 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007.”
“Whether the Defendant, having breached or violated the provisions of he Legal Practitioners Act and Rules of Professional Conduct for legal practitioners, is entitled to refund to the Claimants all the monies generated by the Defendant since the commencement of her “KNOW OUR RIGHTS” programme.”
“A Declaration that the lawyer, employed or engaged or retained by the efendant, who write articles for publications or participate in radio and television programmes in which he gives information on the law annot accept employment to advice on inquires in respect of individual rights by Rule 46(1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007.”The case is yet to be determined.