On December 16th, 2022, the Federal High Court in Abuja issued an order and search warrant empowering the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (Commission) to execute a search on multiple generator companies.

The Court, having been satisfied that there was adequate information to show untoward behavior and business practices by certain companies requiring further investigation, issued the order. 

The Commission proceeded in the investigation and investigatory efforts including securing the order because of a high prioritization of the electricity power industry both from a primary/substantive production, and alternative power sources standpoints. Power, and the cost thereof, being vital and critical to businesses, and households, particularly small businesses and vulnerable households is a major concern, and any practice(s) in that sector that exploits or negatively affects consumers is of grave concern. 

That investigation is currently at various stages. Extensive briefings with topmost officials in government, and evidence gathering from relevant targets have also occurred. 

As part of the investigation, and to ensure compliance with the law, the Commission on March 8th, 2024, filed criminal charges against one of the targets (Mikano International Limited and Others) of the investigation.

The charges are with respect to the target’s actions during the execution of the search warrant and thereafter, which the Commission considers an obstruction of justice and a lawful investigation; and failure to comply with legitimate requests in order to frustrate the investigation. 

The charges allege violations of Sections 28(5), 33, 110 and 111 of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) which provide and mandate companies to comply and be transparent in investigative procedures.

The Commission is strongly committed to ensuring compliance and transparency in enforcement of the law. The Commission recognizes the prevailing hardship being experienced by consumers and business operators, and as such reiterates that compliance with the law, and lawful requests under the law are vital to economic and market stability and protection of consumers. 

The Commission will continue to enforce the law in a fair and humane manner for both consumers and businesses, but will not tolerate any action by any that weakens the regulatory framework or encourages others to violate the law as that leads to exploitation of consumers.

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