Court Rejects MultiChoice’s Attempt to Block NBC Document Requests

By Joke Kujenya

MULTICHOICE NIGERIA Limited’s bid to prevent the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) from requesting financial, accounting, or tax documents has been limited and blocked by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice James Omotosho, in his ruling on the ex-parte motion filed by MultiChoice’s counsel, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, directed all parties to refrain from actions that could affect the case’s outcome. The ruling, delivered on Wednesday, became publicly accessible on Friday.

“The ex-parte order for Interim Injunction dated 8th day of May 2024 and filed 16th day of May 2024 is hereby refused,” declared Justice Omotosho. He adjourned the case until May 30 for the hearing of the motion on notice.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd and Details Nigeria Ltd, the provider of GOtv, are challenging NBC’s authority in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/652/2024. They sought three main injunctions: stopping NBC from investigating their income for the years 2014 to 2024, preventing NBC from demanding any documents beyond the annual audited accounts already submitted, and restraining NBC from imposing any sanctions based on its letter dated April 29.

Gozie Onumonu, Head of Compliance for the companies, stated in an affidavit that broadcasters are required to pay a percentage of their income as an annual levy under NBC Codes. The current code mandates a 2.5% levy, while the previous code required 1.5%.

Onumonu highlighted a longstanding dispute over the definition of “income,” whether it should be calculated as turnover or revenue minus production costs. In 2014, both parties agreed that income would be revenue minus production costs, resulting in minimal payments under the 1.5% levy stipulated by the NBC Code 5th Edition.

To address NBC’s financial needs, both parties agreed on a fixed annual levy of N500 million from 2014 to 2019, which was significantly higher than the amount owed under the 1.5% levy. Onumonu noted that despite this arrangement, NBC received over N12 billion in levies from 2014 to the present.

Onumonu accused NBC of abusing its power and urged the court to grant their requests for justice. The next hearing is scheduled for May 30, where further deliberations will take place.

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2 thoughts on “Court Rejects MultiChoice’s Attempt to Block NBC Document Requests

  1. This is good for multichoice. They are merciless and inconsiderate in the way they hike their bouquet prices too so if my government is also sucking them weather through dubious or legal means, I don’t care.
    Since February, I haven’t been able to subscribe my DSTV cos it’s on the high side.
    I just hope Nigeria can implement pay as you watch like Tanzania 🇹🇿.

    1. Exactly, I totally agree with you. I even refused to subscribe to their repeated programmes at an exorbitant price. And I won’t because this is something they dare not do in South Africa where they come from. Their rubbish must be curbed.

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