Media rights group have filed a lawsuit against the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] and Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, asking the court to “declare arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional the N9m fines imposed on Channels, AIT and Arise TV [N3m each] over their coverage of the #EndSARS protests, and to stop the NBC from collecting the money.”
It could be recalled that the commission had last month directed Arise TV, Channels TV, and African Independent Television (AIT) to pay the fine for allegedly failing to observe broadcasting rules in their coverage of #EndSARS protests.
In a lawsuit filed at the Federal High Court, Ibadan, Oyo State, MRA is challenging the powers of the NBC to impose fines on broadcasting stations when it is not a judicial body.
The group urged the court to declare the fine on the three television stations as unlawful and set the fines aside.
It also asked the court to declare the fine as null and void and issue a perpetual injunction restraining the commission from imposing sanctions or fines or other unlawful or unconstitutional restrictions on television and radio stations in Nigeria.
The suit was filed on behalf of MRA by an Ibadan-based lawyer, Mr. Boluwatife Sanya, and brought under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009; Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended; and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as preserved by the Ratification and Enforcement Act (Cap A9), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.