DSTV and GOTV have been mandated by the Competition and Consumer Protection (CCP) which ordered MultiChoice to suspend implementation of its new hike in subscription price set for April 1, 2022.
It was reported that the three-member tribunal led by Thomas Okosun, Sola Salako Ajulo, and Ibrahim EL-Yakubu, told the pay-tv to maintain the status quo of its price on March 30.
However, MultiChoice went ahead to increase its subscription prices, with its counsel, Jamiu Agoro, telling the tribunal on Monday, that it doesn’t have jurisdiction to make such order, hence, the decision of the firm to go ahead with the price increment.
Legal practitioner, Festus Onifade, who filed the suit against MultiChoice at the tribunal, challenged the firm’s disregard of the tribunal ruling, stating that the company needs to prove why its Managing Director and other directors shouldn’t be committed to prison.
Agoro told the court,
“As much as the questions which the tribunal has posed, the issue has been where there is an order of the court and an aggrieved party who had either applied to set aside that order or had exercised its rights of appeal against that order, such party cannot be held to be in contempt of that order.”
While stating that the decision of MultiChoice isn’t contempt of court, Agoro cited previous cases to defend the firm’s disregard for the tribunal ruling.
He added saying;
“So on that basis, as contained in this authorities and avalanche of others, we submit that we are not in contempt of an order of this honourable tribunal.”
He further told the panel that “this court is to first inquire whether it has the jurisdiction to determine the application” – although Onifade filed a written address and contempt proceedings against Ugbe.
Challenging the decision of the price increment, Onifade, who sued MultiChoice on behalf of himself and the Nigerian customers, asked for a restraining order, which would see MultiChoice revert to the old price, until the case has been determined.
It was gathered that Onifade challenged the MultiChoice question of the tribunal’s jurisdiction by filing a counter-affidavit – his prayer was favoured by the three-member panel.
While the tribunal granted the adjournment request of Agoro, with the new hearing date slated for May 5, the panel also stated that the parties maintain the status quo in line with its March 30 order.
“Therefore, an order of March 30 still subsists and parties shall maintain status quo antebellum.” The panel told the plaintiff and the defendants, which includes Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
This means DSTV and GOTV have been directed to restore the previous price pending the next hearing.