" ITREALMS: MTN confirms sealing of Abuja office

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

MTN confirms sealing of Abuja office

... Owerri outlet too

By Remmy Nweke

MTN Nigeria Communications has confirmed the sealing of its regional office in Abuja and Owerri outlet, Tuesday by the officials of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), but lamented that there was no prior notice by the authorities that claimed discrepancy in its Y’ello Times promotion.

ITRealms Online recalled that estimated 25 armed policemen where at MTN Regional Office Abuja to enforce the sealing reportedly on the orders of CPC and accompanied by CPC officials. The Owerri outlet belongs to a private concern who is a partner to MTN.

Confirming this development, MTN said, “ ... The Consumer Protection Council came to MTN’s Regional Offices in Abuja yesterday, May 30, 2006, with 25 armed policemen to seal the said premises.”

Corporate Service Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mrs Amina Oyagbola, said in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online noted that though the telco supports the effort of the government in ensuring good consumerism culture and quality services.

She also said that MTN as fully committed organisation in delivery of optimal qualitative service to its subscribers introduced the Y’ello Times promotion to reward loyalty to the network, lamenting that incidentally CPC sealed the office and an outlet based on suspected faults without any prior notice to the organisation.

“No notice, court order or other official documentation from the authority or right to seal the premises was presented to anyone before, during or after their actions. Further, no one was informed of the reasons for their action at the time they proceeded to seal the premises,” she said.

Mrs. Oyagbola also said that MTN only learnt of the reasons for the CPC actions, through the media and that was after the sealing was effected.

“This is against the rule of law and against the spirit of democracy,” she decried.

Equally, she confirmed that an MTN Connect Store owned and managed by one of the firm’s business partners and a private entrepreneur in Owerri was sealed under the instructions of the CPC.

“Similarly, no notice, court order or other official documentation addressed to MTN or to the private entrepreneur stating the case to answer and giving reasons for the CPC’s action was presented to the occupants of the Store prior to, during or after the exercise. This is clearly unlawful and beyond the powers of the CPC under its enabling law,” MTN noted.

The Corporate executive further disclosed that the action of CPC has negatively impacted on the customer experience on MTN’s network and the provision of mobile services throughout Northern and Eastern parts of the country.

“The action has also resulted in reputation damage to MTN and financial loss to the proprietor of the Connect Store in Owerri, who is a private citizen,” she said.

Emphasising that MTN does have the civil right to a fair hearing and to be informed of the legal premise upon which any official sanction is being executed.

“This was not done by the CPC and amounts to a breach of due process. We request the CPC to educate us and the public as to the specific provisions under their enabling law that authorities them to seal up the premises of MTN and its business partners in this manner,” she said in the statement.

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William Wagner said...

I've been wondering why the authorities sealed that office. I hope they can deal with that issue immediately.

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