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MultiChoice Fined N100,000 by Tribunal, Directors Risk Jail Over Subscription Price Increase.

MultiChoice Fined N100,000 by Tribunal, Directors Risk Jail Over Subscription Price Increase.

The Competition and Consumer Protection -CCP tribunal has fined MultiChoice N100,000 over a case against the company involving subscription price increase and contempt of court.

MultiChoice was penalized by the tribunal for failing to give a response to a substantive suit regarding the price spike after the three-member tribunal presided over by Thomas Okosun gave the firm 21 days to do so.

In its defense, Jamiu Agoro, MultiChoice’s lawyer, reported that the tribunal needed to resolve the issue of jurisdiction before judging the substantive suit, as the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, -FCCPC was the appropriate authority to first hear the case.

Agoro explained that the tribunal can only be approached if the complainant, Festus Onifade who is also the legal practitioner, is not satisfied with the FFCPC resolution.

However, Onifade reported that he had tabled the issue before FCCPC since May 2020, on behalf of himself and the Nigerian consumer, but the commission has yet to act on his case, hence, his reason for approaching the tribunal.

Meanwhile, Onifade said that MultiChoice violated the order of the tribunal, after the court issued ex-parte on March 30, 2022, ordering the company to maintain the status quo and not increase its subscription.

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MultiChoice had disclosed previously that it will increase its subscription price on April 1, and it will go ahead with the hike despite the tribunal directing it to suspend the decision. Agoro claimed that the mechanisms had already been put in place to automatically implement before the tribunal’s directive.

However, Onifade said that it was a disrespectful act to the court, and the directors of MultiChoice must “show cause why they should not be committed to prison for wilful disobedience of the order of this honorable tribunal granted on March 30, 2022.”

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