Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court Abuja, yesterday re-affirmed the exparte order made on August 20, restraining MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, from going ahead with its recent decision to increase the subscription tariffs for its cable television, DSTV.
The court issued the order after a motion exparte filed alongside an originating summon marked FHC/ABJ/CS/894/18 brought before the court by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) was argued.
The CPC approached the court after MultiChoice Nigeria announced in July that from August 1, 2018, a new monthly subscription rates will come into effect.
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.
Specifically, the court had granted an interim injunction restraining Multichoice Nigeria or its agents and representatives from continuing the implementation of any increase in subscription rates or price review policy imposing increased charges and costs on the consumers pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The court also restrained DSTV from further carrying on or continuing any conduct or activity which interferes with or has effect of circumventing the outcome of ongoing investigations by the CPC into the company’s compliance or non-compliance with the February 16, 2016 order pending the determination of the motion on notice.
During yesterday’s proceedings, the court was told by counsel to CPC, Babatunde Irukera, that MultiChoice had issued a public statement to the effect that it would not obey the court order.
Irukera, who is the director-general of CPC, 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.
“My lord, the evidence is that the defendant has declined to comply with the order of court order”, he said.
The CPC lawyer told the court that he was in possession of the affidavit evidence.
In his response, counsel to the defendant, M. J. Onigbanjo, SAN, denied that his client disobeyed the order of the court.
But 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 warned the defendant against taking any step that will over reach the court.
The matter has been adjourned to September 3, for hearing.
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