Connect with us


Court refuses to set aside judgment stopping NBC from imposing fines on broadcast stations



Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, dismissed an application by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) seeking an order to set aside his judgment restraining the commission from imposing fines on broadcast stations in the country.

Ripples Nigeria reports that the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) had sued NBC for imposing a fine of N500,000 each on Channels, TVC, AIT, and 42 others on March 1, 2019, for allegedly flouting the provisions of the Nigerian broadcasting code.

According to MRA, the action of the commission violated the right to a fair hearing under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ratification and Enforcement) Act.

Ripples Nigeria also recalls that Justice Omotosho had, on May 10, given an order of perpetual injunction restraining NBC from imposing fines on broadcast stations.

Read also: PDP govs re-state confidence in judiciary despite recent Court of Appeal verdicts

The judge also set aside the N500,000 fine imposed by the commission on March 1, 2019, on each of the 45 broadcast stations alleged to have violated its code.

However, after the judgment was delivered, NBC filed a motion on notice through its lawyer, seeking an order setting aside the judgment, adding that the judgment was reached per incuriam and without jurisdiction.

The commission also claimed that the originating motion in the suit in which the judgment was delivered was not served on them.

In his judgment on Thursday, Justice Omotosho held that the NBC Code, which gives the commission the power to impose sanctions, conflicts with Section 6 of the Constitution, which vests judicial power in the court of law.

He also noted that NBC made a futile attempt to persuade the court to set aside the judgment.

According to the judge, an affidavit of facts deposed to by the court bailiff confirmed that the processes were served on the commission.

“It is a futile attempt to get the court to set aside this judgment. The respondent should bear the consequences of its indolence.

“In the final analysis, it is an afterthought and belated. The application to set aside the judgment is hereby refused”, the judge ruled.


Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now