Former military Governor of Kaduna State, retired Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar has threatened to take the South African telecommunications giant in Nigeria, MTN to court over what he called unsolicited Short Message Services (SMS) and fraudulent deductions.
Umar Dangiwa told news men in Kaduna today, Saturday that he had already briefed his lawyers to file the suit against MTN after his complain over unsolicited messages and deductions were not addressed.
He said that despite assurances by the MTN operatives that it will not happen again, he has started receiving unsolicited messages accompanied by deductions of money from his telephone line.
He displayed two of the latest unsolicited messages which he received on Saturday, one of which subscribed him to a caller tune with a charge of N50, with an option to opt out while the other subscribed him to a package known as ‘Laugh Out Loud’ also with a fee.
The latest messages he received read thus: “Yello, you have downloaded the Callertune <CHECK YOUR ALERT> by TK SWAG for N50.00. This tune expires on 2016-12-09. To delete the tune, send del0733736.
“Dear Customer, you have successfully subscribed to Laugh Out Loud and N50.00 deducted from your account. Your service will be renewed on 2016-11-18. To cancel, text STOP LOL to 55006. Enjoy!”
Umar Dangiwa said that it was unfortunate that this practice has continued despite complaints, adding that it is not about the N50 being deducted from his account, but it is fraudulent to deduct money from subscribers without their consent.
“If you multiply N50 by 70 million subscribers, for example, it means the network is stealing billions of Naira from subscribers on a daily basis. If N50 is multiplied by 70 million for instance, the sum is N3.5 billion, for instance.”
Umar Dangiwa said that he is suing MTN on behalf of 70 million subscribers and believed that the subscribers will be his witnesses in court.
“I have briefed my lawyers,” he said even as he complained that attempts to reach the telecoms regulator, the NCC have failed. [myad]