The Federal High Court in Lagos has prevented the National Broadcasting Commission from revoking the licenses of 53 broadcast stations in Nigeria. Also, the Court ordered that NBC should desist from locking the media organizations over the failure to validate their operational permit.
The verdict came yesterday as a victory for the Nigerian Guild of Editors, and the Social-Economic Rights and Accountability Project. Recall that the aforementioned bodies filed a lawsuit against NBC to stop the commission from locking the organizations over an alleged debt of N2.6 billion. In their defense, the group argued that it’s illegal and unconstitutional for NBC to use Section 10(a) of the Third Schedule to the NBC act to shut down the media organizations.
Additionally, the group prayed to the court that it should nullify the stand of NBC because it oversteps the freedom of expression. Also, the group requested that the court issue “an order of interim injunction.” With the injunction, the group seeks a lawful compelling of NBC to desist from locking the organization till the court gives a final verdict.
A joint statement by NGE and SERAP revealed that the court had granted an order of interim injunction. The statement disclosed that the request emanated after the judge listened to the submission of the two groups on “Motion Ex parte.” Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned till September 8, 2022, for the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.