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COURT BARS NBC FROM IMPOSING FINES ON BROADCAST STATIONS.

todayMay 11, 2023 26

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Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court Abuja has given an order of perpetual injunction restraining the National Broadcasting Commission NBC from imposing fines, on broadcast stations in the country and also set aside the 500,000 Naira fines imposed on each of the 45 broadcast stations on March 1, 2019.

Omotosho who described NBC’s act as being ultra vires in his ruling also held that NBC, not being a court of law, had no power to impose sanctions as punishment on broadcast stations, adding that the NBC Code, which gives the commission the power to impose sanctions, conflicts with Section 6 of the Constitution which vested judicial power in the court of law.

He said the court would not sit idle and watch a body imposing fine arbitrarily without recourse to the law, arguing that the commission did not comply with the law when it sat as a complainant and at the same time, the court and the judge on its matter.

The judge agreed that the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, being a subsidiary legislation that empowers an administrative body such as the NBC to enforce its provisions, cannot confer judicial powers on the commission to impose criminal sanctions or penalties such as fines.

Written by: Ella Adike

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