CPC adjourns sitting on DStv investigation


The resumed sitting of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC’s) Panel, investigating the activities of the Digital Satellite Television (DStv) for alleged consumer rights abuses, scheduled for Thursday, September 10, 2015, has been adjourned.

The Council’s decision to adjourn the sitting came on the heels of a request by Multichoice Nigeria Limited, a pay-media company which owns the Digital Satellite Television (DStv) brand, that it be allowed to have legal representation at the sitting.

The pay-media eight-man team, led by its Managing Director, John Ugbe had on Thursday arrived the headquarters premises of the Council in Abuja, where the resumed hearing was scheduled to take place, wanting to appear as a group before the panel.

The Leader of the Investigating Panel, who is the Council’s Director of Legal Services,  Emmanuel Ataguba, declined the move by the company, insisting that the sitting would only take the officers invited one after the other and that if in the course of the investigation there is any need to invite any other officer or the managing director, this would be appropriately communicated.

Ataguba insisted that the summons sent to the company conveyed specific invitation to its Head of Operations and Customer Care, Hasiya Abdul as well as to the Head of Regulatory Affairs, Gozie Onumonu.

Faced with the insistence of the panel not to change its course of investigation, Multichoice Managing Director thereafter requested that the company would wish that its officers have legal representation.

While adjourning, the panel chairman acceded to Ugbe’s request in the interest of fair hearing, hinting that a new date for the continuation of the hearing into the allegations of consumer abuses against the company would be communicated to it soon.

Recall,the investigation into the activities of DStv began on Friday, July 31, 2015 and was adjourned for the DStv team to provide more documents.

But Multichoice in a letter received by CPC on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 requested for a six-week extension for the continuation of the investigation so as to enable it “satisfactorily respond to the request for additional information”.

CPC, while declining the request, countered the short notice claim in Multichoice letter, asserting that its representatives at the first sitting of the investigation were constructively put on notice on the request for the additional information and documents.

The Council, in its response to the pay-television firm’s letter, declared that “we are unable to grant such a long postponement having regard to the fact that you were constructively put on notice to produce these documents at the last hearing on the 31st July 2015.

“In the interest of justice, however, Council has considered and directed that you be granted a postponement for two weeks to Tuesday, the 10th day of September 2015”, CPC added.

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