Human rights lawyer Waive Benjamin has asked the Lagos High Court to declare the sending of unsolicited subscription text messages to his phone by MTN Nigeria Communications as harmful and a trick.
Benjamin made the prayer in a suit he instituted before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo.
In a 12-paragraph statement of claim dated September 20, at the commencement of Suit No: LD/ADR/492/2016, the plaintiff averred that the defendant, MTN, sent “a plethora of such text messages popping up on his phone,” from one of which a financial deduction was made on his airtime.
He said shortly after recharging his line with N1000 on September 6, the defendant, without his knowledge, registered him for a gaming service and deducted N100 from his airtime, which was never reverted despite several complaints to the defendant.
Benjamin said he was “irked and feels that there are many unsuspecting Nigerians from whose account the defendant is making such unsuspecting and unsolicited deductions on a daily basis.”
He asked the court for a declaration that “the acts of popping up unsolicited SMSs on the plaintiff’s phone is trickery, calculated to hoodwink unsuspecting subscribers including the plaintiff and thereby making them subscribe to unwanted advertisement”
He also sought a declaration that the defendant’s act “is annoying, disturbing, frustrating and wrong, as well as an order of the court restraining the defendant from further registering its customers for such products without their knowledge.
MTN’s counsel, Mrs. Ayo Obe made an oral application for time to file her defense following which Waive prayed the court for an adjournment to amend the suit and join the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as a party.
Granting the requests, Justice Onigbanjo adjourned till January 31 for hearing.