Sunday, September 26, 2021

NCC has no power to prosecute vandals of telecom infrastructure – Danbatta

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The Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that the commission has no power to prosecute individuals who indulge in willful damage of telecom infrastructure, telecoms facility theft, and fibre cuts, among other crimes.

Mr Danbatta made this known during a courtesy visit by a high-powered delegation of the Kano State Judiciary to the chief telecom regulator at the NCC Kano Zonal Office, in Kano, over the weekend.

The EVC, however, restated the commission’s commitment to continue to strengthen collaboration with judicial institutions in the country.

According to Mr Danbatta, these criminal acts conspire to degrade the quality of service (QoS) in the country, and since the NCC has no prosecutorial power, the need to strengthen collaboration with the judicial arm of the government at all levels has become expedient.

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“NCC does not have prosecutorial power in criminal acts committed by the citizens and licensees which are inimical to the progress of the sector; and we appreciate the ways and manners such criminal cases are being dispensed by the judiciary.

“This is a testimony to the kind cooperation NCC has been enjoying from the judiciary,” he observed.

According to Mr Danbatta, the Commission will never fold its arms while unscrupulous citizens cause havoc on telecommunications infrastructure since that affects the quality of service innocent citizens enjoy.

“Therein lies the importance of the judiciary in the work that we have been assigned by the government to do. We very much appreciate this cooperation with the judiciary and we are committed to ensuring that the cooperation grows stronger and stronger going forward,” he said.

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According to him, the recently-concluded NCC Judges Workshop held in Abuja was a very important initiative of the Commission to continuously collaborate with members of the judicial arm of government through updating them with the trends and regulatory dynamism of the sector with a view to improving their knowledge for effective dispensation of justice.

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Earlier in his address, the Chief Registrar of Kano State High Court of Justice, Abdullahi Ado-Bayero, who led the delegation, commended the efforts of Prof. Danbatta and NCC in the fast-tracking digital transformation of governance and other sectors of the economy, adding that Judiciary, as a whole, has recognised the necessity and inevitability of digital justice system as well as full integration of ICT-based court system in the administration of justice.

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He said this position is well entrenched in the National Judiciary Information Technology Policy (NJITP), 2021 and is consistent with the NCC’s objective and strategic intervention to advance ICT knowledge and training for various public institutions in Nigeria.

“It is in line with the above that the Kano State Judiciary is determined to explore all necessary avenues and opportunities to integrate ICT-based court systems as well as digitised justice delivery systems for the efficient and effective administration of justice in the state and we request NCC’s intervention in this regard,” he said.

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