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Court restates order stopping DSTv from hiking tariffs

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MultiChoice

The Federal High Court in Abuja has insisted that the order it made on August 20 restraining MultiChoice Nigeria Limited from increasing the subscription tariffs for its cable television, DSTv, subsists until it is set aside.

The order by the presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, was a result of an application filed before the court by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).

The case was instituted by the Federal Government through the CPC following an announcement by MultiChoice Nigeria in July that from as August 1, 2018, there would be a new monthly subscription rates hike for the DSTV Premium package from N14,700 to N15,800 (about 7.5 per cent).

Others are Compact Plus to be increased from N9,900 to N10,650; Compact bouquet from N6,300 to N6,800; Family from N3,800 to N4,000, and Access from N1,900 to N2,000.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), granted the authority for the CPC to file the suit in accordance with the provisions of Section 10 and 16 of the Consumer Protection Council Act, Cap c25, LFN 2004.

When the matter came up yesterday, Justice Dimgba was told by the Director-General of CPC, Babatunde Irukera, who also served as lawyer to the FG, that MultiChoice had issued a public statement to the effect that it would not obey the court order.

Irukera had complained to the court about the conduct of MultiChoice in respect of the interim restraining order made on August 20, directing the defendant to revert to status quo.

He stated that MultiChoice vowed not to comply with the court order.

The CPC lawyer told the court that he was in possession of the affidavit evidence.

Though counsel to the defendant, M. J. Onibanjo (SAN), denied that there was such a publication, he, however, insisted that the plaintiff ought to have brought a formal complain.

Consequently, the court restated that its order of August 20 “still subsists and in force”, adding that CPC knows what to do if an opposing party in a suit flouts a valid order of court.

Justice Dimgba, who warned the defendant against taking any step that would over-reach the court, adjourned till September 3 for hearing.


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