Tribunal restrains MultiChoice from hiking DStv, Gotv subscription rates

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A Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, issued a restraining order on Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited from increasing its tariffs and cost of products and services.

Multi-choice had last week announced a price increment across its DStv and GOtv packages effective May 1, 2024.

The pay-TV company claimed the price hike was due to the cost of business operations in Nigeria.

A three-member tribunal, presided over by Saratu Shafii, gave an interim order following an ex-parte motion moved by Ejiro Awaritoma, counsel for the applicant, Festus Onifade.

The tribunal, in a ruling, restrained Multi-Choice from going ahead with the impending price increase schedule to take effect from May 1, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed before it.

“The 1st defendant is hereby restrained from taking any step(s) that may negatively affect the rights of the claimant and other consumers in respect of the suit pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” Shafii declared.

She, therefore, directed all parties in the suit to appear before the tribunal on May 7 at 10 am for the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

The lawyer in the suit marked: CCPT/OP/2/2024 had dragged Multi-Choice Nigeria Ltd and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) before the tribunal.

In the suit filed on April 29, Onifade, also a legal practitioner, sought two orders.

These include, “an order of interim injunction of this honourable tribunal restraining the 1st defendant whether by themselves, her privies, assigns by whatsoever name called from going ahead with impending price increase scheduled to take effect from 1st May 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order restraining the 1st defendant from taking any step(s) that may negatively affect the rights of the claimant and other consumers in respect of the suit pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”

Other members of the tribunal include Thomas Okosun and Dr. Umar Duhu.