Multichoice Barred From Increasing Tariff

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A Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal sitting in Abuja has restrained MultiChoice Nigeria Limited from increasing its tariff and cost of products and services scheduled to begin today.

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

Other members of the tribunal are Sola Salako Ajulo and Ibrahim EL-Yakubu.

In the suit marked: CCPT/OP/1/2022, MultiChoice and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) are first and second respondents.

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) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and Section 47(a), (b), (c), (d) of the FCCPC Act 2018.

The applicants had prayed for “an order of interim injunction restraining the first defendant/respondent, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariff 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.

“An order of the honourable tribunal mandating the 1st defendant/respondent 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 to stop the planned hike in tariff and cost of its products and services pending the hearing and determination of the motion.

It went on: “The first defendant/respondent is hereby restrained, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariff 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.”

“The first defendant/respondent is hereby mandated to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

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

“All parties in this suit are to appear before this honourable tribunal on the 11th day of April, 2022,” it ruled.

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