According to South African digital satellite television company, Multichoice, Nigeria no Nigerian courts has the powers to regulate its subscription prices.
Two Lagos-based lawyers, Oluyinka Oyeniji and Osasuyi Adebayo, had initiated a class action on behalf of millions of Nigerians who criticised the new subscription rates as exploitative and insensitive.
According to counsel to MultiChoice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), the plaintiffs don’t have any good cause of action through their application.
He also said the court does not have the legal authority to regulate what the company decides to charge its customers for its services.
The lawyer drew the court’s attention to clauses 40 and 41 in his client’s terms or conditions of service, stating: “Multichoice Nigeria may, from time to time, change the fees payable to Multichoice Nigeria for the Multichoice Service by way of general amendment.”
As a country operating a free market economy, Mr. Onigbanjo said, neither the Nigerian government nor the court has the power to regulate the prices for its services.
He noted that at the moment, Nigeria does not have an existing law that empowers the NBC to monitor and regulate the prices for services offered by satellite television operators.
To enable the court rule on the objection, Justice C.J. Aneke therefore adjourned further sitting till May 21.