December 21 last year, a fed up and annoyed customer of telecom company Airtel, Mr Emmanuel Anene got tired of being disturbed by unsolicited messages on his line, so he sued the company.
Then, on November 2nd 2016, the Federal High Court, Maitama ruled in his favour and slammed a N5 million fine on Airtel for the violation of a customer’s right to privacy, this was in accordance with the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, under the Nigerian Communications Act:
In his ruling, Justice Okeke, the presiding judge held that:
“Putting into consideration the obvious inconveniences, discomfort and embarrassments, the plaintiff had undeniably gone through, the defendant has been directed to pay to the plaintiff damages, not the N200 million the plaintiff asked for but N5 million only."Now, note that the court records showed that the plaintiff’s (Mr. Anene) evidence of claims was served on the defendant (Airtel) and led evidence in the support of same.
According to the court:
“The defendant, having received complaints from the plaintiff, but continued to disturb the plaintiff from quiet enjoyment of the line.
“In every wrong there must be a remedy, to vindicate the plaintiff’s right which has been violated in the forth going circumstance by the defendant; the plaintiff shall be awarded damages based on the discretion of the court.What this means before you sue any of the telcos over those really annoying spam messages and calls, make sure you've exhausted every avenue of complaint.
“Against this background putting into consideration the obvious inconveniences, discomfort and the embarrassments the plaintiff had undeniably gone through."
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