A Federal High Court in Abuja has issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the National Broadcasting Commission or NBC from imposing fines on broadcast stations in Nigeria, this is according to reports by NAN.
The judgement delivered today means NBC can no longer impose fines on stations moving forward.
James Omotosho, the judge who handled the matter, also overturned an earlier judgement that imposed a fine of N500,000 on each of the 45 broadcast stations on March 1, 2019. In his ruling, Justice Omotosho held that NBC does not have the power to impose sanctions on broadcast stations as it is not a court of law.
“The court would not sit idle and watch a body imposing fine arbitrarily without recourse to the law,” Omotosho said.
He held that the NBC Code, which gives the commission the power to impose sanctions, is in conflict with Section 6 of the Constitution which vests judicial power in the court of law.
Justice Omotosho, therefore, declared the NBC’s act as ultra vires and declared the fines imposed by the NBC as punishment for the commission of various offences under its code as unconstitutional, null, and void.
The case was brought by the Incorporated Trustees of Media Rights Agenda, who sued NBC for imposing fines on broadcast stations in the country.