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Tribunal stops MultiChoice from increasing subscription fees for DStv, GOtv in Nigeria

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A Competition and Consumer Protection (CCP) Tribunal sitting in Abuja has restrained MultiChoice Nigeria Limited owners of DSTV from increasing its tariffs and cost of products and services scheduled to begin on April 1.

The three-member tribunal, presided over by Thomas Okosun, gave the order following an ex-parte motion moved by Festus Onifade, a legal practitioner, on behalf of himself and the Coalition of Nigeria Consumers.

Other members of the tribunal include Sola Salako Ajulo and Ibrahim El-Yakubu.

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It was reported that in the suit marked: CCPT/OP/1/2022, MultiChoice Nigeria Limited and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) are 1st and 2nd respondents, respectively.

The motion ex-parte filed by the applicants on March 29 was brought pursuant to Section 39 (1) & (2) of FCCPC Act 2018; Order 26, Rule 5 (2), (3) & 26 Rule 6 (1) & (2) Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and Section 47(a), (b), (c),(d), of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018.

The applicants had prayed for “an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st defendants/respondents, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariffs and cost of its products and services intended to take effect from April 1, 2022, until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed before this tribunal.

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“An order of the Honourable Tribunal mandating the 1st defendant/respondents to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“And for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Tribunal may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”

In the ruling, the tribunal ordered MultiChoice Nigeria Limited to stop the planned hike in tariffs and cost of its products and services pending the hearing and determination of the motion.

“The 1st defendant/respondent is hereby restrained, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariffs and cost of its products and services intended to take effect from April 1, 2022, until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed before this Honourable Tribunal.

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“The 1st defendant/respondent is hereby mandated to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” the tribunal ruled.

The matter was adjourned until April 11 for the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“All parties in this suit are to appear before this Honourable Tribunal on April 11, 2022,” it ruled.

The Senate had on Wednesday constituted a seven-man ad-hoc committee to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the tariff hike by DStv (MultiChoice Nigeria) with a view to bringing the pricing activities in line with international practice.

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Written by Adesoji OMOSEBI

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