Telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, has finally succumbed to the pressure from the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to pay the sum of N1.85 million to a subscriber, Mr. Omeje Chukwuma Fidelis who was allegedly shortchanged by the mobile operator when he won a N2 million prize for participating in the Ultimate Wonder Promo held in 2012.
It followed a 14-day ultimatum issued to MTN by the council, for the balance of the prize money to be paid the beneficiary after he was initially paid N150,000 – a situation which compelled him to seek redress from CPC which addresses alleged consumer rights violations.
CPC had threatened to sanction the mobile operator for failing to cooperate with investigations needed to get to the root of the matter.
It finally issued final orders for the payment of the balance to the aggrieved subscriber.
However, MTN, in compliance with the CPC’s order, was said to have raised a United Bank of Africa’s (UBA) draft in the said sum in favour of the complainant on Thursday, February 11, 2016, barely 24 hours after its receipt of the agency’s order, according to a statement issued by the council’s spokesman, Abiodun Obimuyiwa, a copy which was made available to THISDAY.
Fidelis, in a telephone conversation, was said to have confirmed to CPC his receipt of the amount, disclosing that he received the cheque for the balance of his N2 million prize on Monday, February 15, 2016.
According to the statement, CPC was also in receipt of a settlement agreement made to that effect between Omeje, MTN and its event manager for the Ultimate Wonder Promo prize presentation, Towncriers Limited, authorising the event manager to “issue a bank draft in the sum of N1,850,000:00 in full and final satisfaction of the CPC’s order and all claims to the complainant.”
According to the agreement, MTN’s decision to pay the complainant was “in consideration of the order of the CPC and MTN’s wariness with the negative reputational implications of the complainant’s claims”.
The council said it gave the order to the telecommunication firm because of lack of due diligence it displayed in the verification of the winners of the N2 million category of the sales promotion.
The complainant had participated in the said promo and was called that he had won N2million and also invited to the presentation ceremony in Abuja.
The complainant had asserted that during the said ceremony, he was presented with a dummy cheque of N2million with his name on it, interviewed and paraded before the media and the world as a winner of the said amount but only to be paid N150,000 thereafter.