The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) plans to appeal the Abuja Federal High Court’s decision prohibiting it from fining Nigerian broadcast stations.
According to the Quest Times, a Federal High Court in Abuja issued a permanent injunction on Wednesday prohibiting the NBC from penalizing broadcast stations in the country going forward.
In his ruling, Justice James Omotosho also set aside the N500,000 fine imposed on each of the 45 broadcast stations on March 1, 2019.
Justice Omotosho ruled that NBC lacks the authority to punish broadcast stations because it was not a court of law.
He further asserted that Section 6 of the Constitution gave the court of law exclusive jurisdiction over disputes, conflicts with the NBC Code, which grants the commission the authority to impose sanctions.
However, reacting to the ruling in a statement yesterday in Abuja, the NBC Director General, Mallam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, said that the Commission has applied for a certified copy of the judgement, adding that NBC will appeal the judgement if it is found to be in conflict with previous judgements of the court that empower the Commission to regulate broadcasting in Nigeria.
He said, “The attention of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has been drawn to the ruling by the Abuja Federal High Court nullifying the powers of the Commission to impose fines on broadcast stations that violate the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. In view of the foregoing, the commission has applied for a certified copy of the judgement. It is global best practice and ethnics of the legal profession that no party to a suit can freely comment on a judgement it has not seen or read.
“The Commission will appeal against the judgement when it is found to be in conflict with previous judgements of the court, which empowers the Commission to regulate broadcasting in Nigeria,” he added.