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Groups file suit to ban BBNaija over sexual content

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Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Project for Human Development, Foundation for African Cultural Heritage and the Association of Concerned Mothers are seeking the ban of the Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) reality TV show.

The four have dragged MutiChoice Nigeria Limited, the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] and the Federal Government before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

In suit FHC/L/CS/1792/19 are seeking the fundamental rights enforcement of procedure rules, 2009 made by the Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN] pursuant to Section 46(3) of the 1999 Constitution.

In the motion on notice, the applicants are seeking a declaration that
“the sexual perversity, eroticism, sucking of buttom, masturbation and gross obscenity displayed on the TV reality show called Big Brother Nigeria or Big Brother Naija violate Sections 17(3)(f)(g), 21(a), 23, 37, 38, 42, 45(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Articles 2, 8, 17, 18, 28, 29 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification Enforcement Act, CAP 10 and 4, 2,2 (a) (b) (j) 14.0.1 of the National Broadcasting Commission (5th edition) Code and therefore illegal and unconstitutional.”

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The applicants are also asking that the NBC and the Federal Government ban the subscription, promotion, marketing, advertising and airing of BBNaija.

Alternatively, the applicants are seeking an order that instead of displaying sexual perversity, eroticism, “sucking of buttom”, masturbation and gross obscenity on BBNaija reality TV, the first respondent (Multichoice) whether by themselves, their agent, servants or privies or otherwise should display and promote diverse Nigerian cultural heritage, decency, truth, integrity, social and moral values.

BBNaija is a Nigerian reality competition television series, based on the Big Brother television franchise, in which 12 to 21 contestants live in an isolated house and compete for a large cash prize worth $171,428.57 equivalent or N60m and other material gifts at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house.

The show, which is usually viewed by millions of Nigerian youths, has been criticised by conservatives for being lewd, sexually explicit and promoting bad values.

The matter, which is before Justice Mohammed Liman, has been adjourned till March 16, 2020 for hearing.

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