23 May 2014

Nigeria: Alleged Fraudulent Promotion - Etisalat Files Defence

The Etisalat Nigeria on Friday filed a defence in a suit instituted against it over alleged fraudulent promo.

Counsel to the telecommunications company, Mrs Jero Daniels, told the Federal High Court in Lagos that the defence was ready for its case.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plaintiff, Mr Pascal Ozioko, had filed the suit in July, 2012.

In the suit, the plaintiff is claiming the sum of N100 million against Etisalat as damages for allegedly misleading its subscribers in the lottery.

He sought an order compelling Etisalat to publish the names of alleged winners in a lottery in which it sought to give out N500,000 daily to participants.

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is also a defendant in the suit.

Daniels told the court that the defence statement was filed out of time, but said that she brought a motion to regularise same, to deem it as properly filed and served.

However, Counsel to NLRC, Mrs Uduak Bhanani, told the court that her client had yet to enter an appearance in the suit, and prayed the court for time to do so.

Justice Mohammed Yunusa adjourned the case to June 18 for hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on March 4, the court granted leave to the plaintiff's Counsel, Mr Chukwudi Nnaeke, to regularise his statements before the court.

In his statement of claim, the plaintiff averred that, in November, 2011, he received several SMS from Etisalat, advertising a lottery.

"Etisalat represented to its subscribers that Range Rover jeeps were to be won monthly, and a daily cash prize of N500,000, if subscribers answered daily questions sent to them.

"Each text was to cost N100 and each correct answer attracted points to the subscriber to qualify him for the prize," Ozioko said.

He said that Etisalat said that subscribers with the highest points were to win the prizes.

The plaintiff averred that he spent almost all his savings sending answers to the questions which eventually earned him 10 million points, for which he received an SMS from Etisalat, congratulating him for obtaining the highest point.

According to the plaintiff, that was all he received from the telecommunication company.

"I wrote on several occasions to the headquarters of the company at Plot 19, Zone L, Banana Island Ikoyi, to verify the authenticity of their promises, but all to no avail," he said.

He said that this misrepresentation on the part of the defendant only led to the conclusion that they were using the lottery to defraud telecom subscribers.

He sought an order compelling the defendant to publish any of such winners in the national dailies and to award him N100, 000 million as damages for misrepresentation and loss suffered.


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