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MRA sues NBC over social media regulation

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Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja challenging the authority of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to regulate social media platforms in Nigeria or to determine whether a broadcast medium is patriotic or not.

In the suit, MRA, represented by a team of 14 lawyers led by Dr. Kayode Ajulo, is asking the Court to declare that since the NBC has no regulatory authority over social media platforms, it lacks the power to impose broadcast licences on them, as they are not under the NBC Act or any other law in Nigeria.

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The other lawyers representing MRA include Mr. Zak Babah, Prof. Bukola Akinola, Mr. Oludotun Sowemimo, Michael Emejulu, Martins Aduloju, Mr. Wole Adaja, Mr. Akinola Oladimeji, and Ms Ifunanya Okeke.

The rest are Ms. Eme Jackson, Mr. Hamza Dantani, Ms Roseline Akinsanmi, Ms. Aisha Bala Muhammed, and Mr. Tauyyib Shittu.

MRA Communications Officer, Idowu Adewale, said the organisation “wants the court to declare that NBC’s move to regulate and licence social media platforms constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression under Section 39 of the Constitution, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as well as a breach of Nigeria’s treaty obligations by virtue of its being a signatory to the international legal instruments.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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