Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja, has rejected an appeal by Multichoice Nigeria against an interim order prohibiting any increase in the company’s subscription rates.
Premium Times reported that the South African television giant had appealed against the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja stopping it from increasing the subscription rates to its cable television services.
The restraining order was issued in respect of a suit filed before the court by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).
The CPC filed the suit following public outcry shortly after Multichoice Nigeria increased its tariff rates across the country.
The Director-General, CPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, said the council was aware that customers of MultiChoice Nigeria Limited had been unable to renew their subscription at their bouquet prevailing price as of July 31, 2018.
In July, MultiChoice Nigeria announced new monthly subscription rates for the DSTV Premium package from N14,700 to N15,800 (about 7.5 per cent); Compact Plus 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 new rates took effect from August 1.
Following the suit, Justice Dimgba entered an order restraining MultiChoice by itself, agents, or representatives from continuing any increased subscription rate or prices, pending the determination of an application before the court.
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”.
The judge further refused the application by MultiChoice to adjourn the matter indefinitely.
Speaking on the development, Irukera said CPC was aware that Multichoice is not complying with the court order, that consumers should continue paying the old tariff.
“However, the council’s understanding is that Multichoice is not complying with that order of court so that’s why it was important for the court to agree to clarify the situation,” he said.