A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday adjourned till May 28 to rule on a preliminary objection seeking to reverse the 20 percent increment on DStv subscription rates.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke said he was also adjourning to study and rule on a fresh application brought by one of the plaintiffs.
Earlier, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, who had sought to be joined as a co-plaintiff, was now asking to opt out as a plaintiff through a fresh application.
Adegboruwa, a human rights lawyer, urged the court to allow him withdraw as a co-plaintiff so as not to be bound by the pronouncement of the court.
In a counter argument, Adegboruwa had said:
My Lord, I object to the submission by my learned friend, Mr M.K. Adesina, that this application cannot be taken now. It will be like reading the mind of the court.
The ruling of this court on the preliminary objection can go one way or the other. And, I don’t want to be bound by it. That is why I have come before your Lordship to withdraw it,” Adegboruwa argued.
However, M.K. Adesina, the Counsel to MultiChoice, had opposed to the hearing of Adegboruwa’s application, saying “it is not yet ripe for hearing.”
“I was only served with this application two days before and I have not yet filed a reply to it. It is the business of this court to rule on the preliminary objection and every other thing must wait till after the ruling,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two Lagos-based legal practitioners, Osasuyi Adebayo and Oluyinka Oyeniji, had initially filed the suit against MultiChoice.
The plaintiffs filed the suit on behalf of themselves and all other DStv subscribers across the country.
They are seeking an order of the court restraining MultiChoice, the operator of DStv, from implementing the 20 per cent increment on DStv subscription rates which began on April 1, 2015.
NAN also reports that MultiChoice, through its lawyer, had argued that the plaintiffs had no cause of action.
The MultiChoice lawyers had argued that a court did not have the power to regulate the price of services that a business was offering to its customers.
The DStv lawyers had argued that there was no existing law in Nigeria empowering the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to regulate the prices of services that satellite television operators in the country were offering.