The much-anticipated judgment in the case which National Lottery Authority (NLA) filed an ex-parte application in an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Francis Obiri to stop MTN from holding its ‘Go Rio’ promotion could not be delivered.
The trial judge, Justice L. L. Mensah said the about 40-page judgment was not ready although he had earlier set August 30 to deliver same.
He however gave the assurance that the ruling would be delivered in October.
Scancom Ghana also filed an application at the Fast Track Division of an Accra High Court challenging the capacity of NLA to restrain MTN from continuing with its just ended ‘Go Rio’ promotion.
The ‘MTN Go Rio’ promotion has been designed by the telecommunication giant to reward customers Kia Rio saloon cars, all-expense paid trips to and from Brazil, 32-inch Samsung LED TVs, Samsung Galaxy tabs, phones and free airtime over a period of four months.
But David Lamptey, counsel for NLA, had argued that the MTN ‘Go Rio’ promotion was a lottery being presented as a consumer promotion.
He believes the promotion was a lottery, which is the sole preserve of the NLA as indicated in the National Lotto Act, 2006 (ACT 772).
To Mr. Lamptey, no person under section 4(1) of the Act could operate any form of lottery other than the NLA, adding that ‘no judge has the authority to grant immunity to a party from the consequences of breaching an Act of Parliament.’
He said MTN has not adduced any evidence in court to show that they were running a consumer promotion.
‘It’s not a consumer promotion, they can never run away from it, high points are used to select winners, if you (MTN) want to organize a promotion make sure it does not stray into lottery,’ he said.
Mr. Lamptey stated that MTN was clearly deceiving the public with respect to the number of cars it intends to give to winners at the end of the promo.
However, counsel for the applicants, Samuel Cudjoe, accused Mr. Lamptey of deliberately producing a ‘concocted’ story by DAILY GUIDE in court to argue his case.
He insisted that MTN Go Rio’ was purely promotional and intended to award subscribers.
In the NLA’s reliefs, they are seeking a declaration that the promotion was not a consumer or marketing promotion but in fact and law a lottery as defined by the Courts of Ghana and prohibited by section 4(1) of ACT 772.
The NLA also wants a declaration that the promotion ‘has all the attributes and elements of a lottery under the laws of the Republic of Ghana, being the existence of a prize to be won through draw or chance after spending a little more on voice, data and SMS than usual as a precondition for obtaining the opportunity to stand the chance to win a fantastic prize.’
The NLA further wants a permanent injunction restraining the defendant, its agents, assigns, servants, affiliates, associates and workmen either by themselves or in conjunction or association with any individuals or organization from arranging, promoting, sponsoring, organizing any draw.
The NLA is also seeking an order compelling MTN to pay into Court or an Escrow Account the revenue it had generated from the date of launch of the promo till the date of its cessation or termination.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
Email: [email protected]
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