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A telecommunication firm, Airtel Nigeria, has urged the Court of Appeal in Lagos to stay execution of a Garnishee Order Nisi made against it by a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja.

It is in the appeal, praying the Appeal Court to set aside the order of the lower court.

The appellate court has reserved ruling on the case, while the lower court has adjourned till April 7 for further hearing in the substantive suit.

The lower court, presided over by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, had asked Airtel to pay a telecoms firm, Procomtel Limited, the sum of N1.17 billion, which represents awards made by an arbitrator on June 27, 2007 and on August 24, 2007, including interests, over a dispute.

Procomtel said it had an agreement with Airtel for the construction of 28 cell cites in 2001, but the GSM company allegedly terminated the contract on March 5, 2003.

The claimant said it successfully executed the contract, and provided other services to Airtel, including importing of equipment, and that the company was indebted to it. Procomtel had urged the lower court to enforce the awards, claiming that the defendant’s failure to pay the money had adversely affected and almost paralysed its business.

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