The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has called out to Multichoice Nigeria on its claimed granted stay of execution, thereby discarding it as Fraudulent.
In a report, Multichoice Nigeria noted that it has filed a Notice of Appeal against the Federal High Court order restraining it from increasing subscription rates to its cable television services and thereby have been granted a stay of execution.
More so, the company claimed in light of the application for a stay of execution, the new prices announced by it from August 1, 2018 was the status quo period.
But, CPC renounced this claim noting that it is fraudulent to say a stay of execution has been granted when the appeal have not even been heard.
Earlier, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja issued an order restraining the cable television broadcasting company, its agents or representatives from going ahead with the increment of subscription rates till further notice.
The order followed an application filed on behalf of the Nigerian government by the CPC in case No. FHC/ABJ/CS/894 to stop any upward review of subscription fees for DSTV and GoTV services.
According to the Head of Public Relations, CPC, Mr Abiodun Obimuyiwa, they are aware of appeal move made by Multichoice, but until it is heard,the order given by the Federal High Court still subsist.
“It is true that they have appealed and CPC has been served with the notice.
“But one can not claim to have been grinned and appeal when it has not been heard or when one have not even game before the court.
“It is fraudulent to say that the Company, Multichoice Nigeria can commence or continue with the new subscription cable rates,”Obimuyiwa posited.
Obimuyiwa however noted that the case will be resumed again on Tuesday, 28th August, 2018 until then the court order still stands.
““Until the court rules that the order should be vacated, that order is the status quo referred to by the application for appeal. What that means is, if Multichoice goes ahead to collect the new subscription rates from subscribers, it would be acting in violation of the court order and will be in contempt,” He told NewsDirect.
All effort to get Multichoice Nigeria react to the validity and truthfulness of the statement made on the granted stay of execution proved abortive, as the spokeperson, Caroline Oghuma failed to reply to text messages or answer the calls pull through to her from NewsDirect as at Press time.
In his ruling, Justice Dimgba said the interim injunction restraining Multichoice Nigeria or its agents and representatives was to halt its “continuing implementation of any increase in subscription rates or price review policy imposing increased charges and costs on the consumers pending the determination of the motion on notice.”
Also, Multichoice Nigeria was “restrained 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.”
Confirming Obimuyiwa’s point, the team lead, Oasis Forte Consult, Barrister Adedayo Enitan Salami stated that, “in legal practice, Filing of Notice of Appeal does not automatically amount to stay and also the Notice of Appeal must have enteted.
According to her, “Stay of Execution is an application seeking the court for an order stopping the Judgment creditor from enjoying the benefit of court pronouncement or that from enforcing the order of Court.
“The order of the court remains valid, until the application for stay is determined. Determined here means decided or pronounced as yes the order should be put on order,” she told NewsDirect.
In addition, Adedayo clarified that the merely filing of the Notice is not sufficient, until the determination of the stay.
“This is because Stay of execution and Notice of appeal are two entirely two different things,” Adedayo pointed out.
Already, the CPC stated that several subscribers to DSTV and GoTV services had complained about their inability to renew their subscriptions based on the pre-August 1, 2018 rates.
The council said the development may have confirmed that Multichoice Nigeria had gone ahead with the implementation of the new tariffs in defiance of Monday’s court restriction order.
Consequently, the Council motioned that it had set up a special channel, email@example.com.
ng, for the affected customers to send emails detailing their complaints about their experiences.
Complainants were asked to state relevant information, including smart card number, name, telephone number, date and time of failed attempt to pay, supporting same with relevant evidence such as a screenshot or document (where necessary).
“The Council is informing the public that it is a violation of the order of the court for Multichoice to require consumers to pay, or to receive any new rate for their service, from consumers.
“For clarity, the current, valid and prevailing rate for DStv and GOtv services are the rates that were effective as at July 31, 2018,” the statement said
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