Court summons NBC, others over AIT, Raypower shutdown
…Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo Ante Bellum As At May 30
The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to appear before it over the shutdown and withdrawal of broadcast licence of Daar Communications Plc.
Justice Inyang Ekwo also ordered the Attorney General of the Federation and the representative of the Ministry of Information and Culture to appear alongside the NBC on June 13.
The order was made following an exparte application made by Daar Communications and motion on notice seeking the setting aside of the action of the electronic broadcast regulator.
NBC had on Thursday, June 6, announced the suspension of the licence of Daar Communications until further notice. Director General of the Commission, Modibbo Kawu, who announced the shutdown, stated that the action was as a result of the former’s continued breach of broadcasting code.
But the court ordered parties in the suit to maintain status quo ante bellum as at May 30, 2019, pending the hearing and determination of Daar Communications’ suit challenging the closure of its broadcast stations.
Ekwo in his ruling on the application filed and argued by Benson Igbanoi of Chief Mike Ozekhome Chambers, granted the alternative prayer of the applicant, while he held that prayers one and two cannot be granted without first hearing from other parties. He consequently ordered the defendants to appear before the court on June 13, to show cause why they should not be stopped from interfering with the operations of Daar Communications.
The plaintiff, represented by its founder, Raymond Dokpesi, prayed the court to restrain the defendants from blocking and/or interfering with their air waves in any way and manner, in its broadcast and airing of news, views, documentaries or any other legitimate broadcast material that is usually associated with television, radio or social media broadcast pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed along with the application.
The plaintiff also prayed the court to restrain the defendants from invading or closing down their premises, its operations or broadcast services, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed along with the application.
Alternatively, the plaintiff prayed for an order for maintenance of status quo ante bellum, as at May 30, 2019, pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice filed along with the exparte application.
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