#EndSARS: NBC Faces Two Lawsuits Over N9m Fine Imposed On TV Stations

November 1, 2020
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In relation to their coverage of the #EndSARS demonstrations, two separate complaints were filed against the National Broadcasting Commission over the N3m fine levied by the commission on three television stations.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Transparency Project (SERAP) filed one of the two cases, while a consortium of lawyers filed the second, under the aegis of the Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the Acting Director-General of the NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, were also joined as defendants by SERAP, which filed its suit in partnership with 261 Nigerians, civil society and media groups concerned.

The group urges the court to find “arbitrary, unlawful and unconstitutional” the N3m fine levied by NBC on each of Channels TV, Africa Independent Television and Arise TV over their coverage of the #EndSARS protests.

It wants the court to prohibit the fine from being imposed by NBC.

SERAP alleged that by using broadcasting codes, the information minister had made consistent attempts to gag the press from fulfilling their watchdog role.

The group argued that the imposing of a fine of N3 lmillion on each of Channels TV, Africa Independent Television, and Arise TV without granting them a fair hearing was in violation of the media houses constitutional rights.

It urged the court to strike down Section 2[n] of the NBC Act and Broadcasting Code, which NBC and the Minister of Information rely on to impose fines on the three stations.

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