The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned ruling in the case between an Abuja-based lawyer, Festus Onifade, Coalition of Nigerian Consumers and pay-TV platform, MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, till Monday, July 25, 2022.
At the hearing, MultiChoice asked the tribunal to decline hearing the suit challenging the increase of the subscription fees for its television services on grounds of jurisdiction.
Onifade and the Coalition of Nigeria Consumers had dragged MultiChoice, the operators of DStv and GOtv platforms, to the tribunal following an announcement by the company in March 2022 that the subscription rates for the various bouquets on its platforms will go up on April 1, 2022.
At the resumed hearing of the suit on Thursday, the tribunal took all pending applications. Key was the application by MultiChoice challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the suit.
Jamiu Agoro, counsel to MultiChoice, argued that the tribunal could not hear the suit because by Section 47 of its Act, but could only listen to appeals on matters that had been decided on by the FCCPC.
Agoro argued that if the claimant felt aggrieved by the decision of MultiChoice, he should have approached the FCCPC with his grievance.
However, the three-member tribunal headed by Thomas Okosun said there was an order for counsels to the parties to argue on all the applications and the originating summons at Thursday’s hearing.
Consequently, the tribunal said its ruling/decision on the applications taken on Thursday, will be contained in the judgment to be delivered in the case after argument on the originating summons that was adjourned to Monday, July 25, 2022.