The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has restrained MultiChoice Nigeria Limited from increasing its tariffs and cost of products and services scheduled to begin on April 1.

The three-member tribunal presided over by Thomas Okosun gave the order following an ex parte motion moved by Festus Onifade, a legal practitioner, on behalf of himself and the Coalition of Nigerian Consumers.

Other members of the tribunal included Sola Salako Ajulo and Ibrahim EL-Yakubu.

In the suit marked CCPT/OP/1/2022, MultiChoice Nigeria Limited and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) are first and second respondents, respectively.

The motion ex parte filed by the applicants on March 29 was brought pursuant to Section 39 (1) & (2) of FCCPC Act 2018; Order 26, Rule 5 (2), (3) & 26 Rule 6 (1) & (2) Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and Section 47(a), (b), (c),(d), of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018.

The applicants had prayed for “an order of interim injunction restraining the first defendants/respondents, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariffs and cost of its products and services intended to take effect from April 1, 2022,” until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed before this tribunal.

It further sought an order mandating the first defendant to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

In the ruling, the tribunal ordered MultiChoice to stop the planned hike in tariffs and the cost of its products and services pending the hearing and determination of the motion.

“The first defendant/respondent is hereby restrained, either by itself, agents, representatives, officers or privies, howsoever described, from carrying out the impending increase in tariffs and cost of its products and services intended to take effect from April 1, 2022, until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed,” stated the tribunal. “The first defendant/respondent is hereby mandated to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

The matter was adjourned until April 11 for the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

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