Fines on Broadcast Stations: NBC goes to Appeal Court

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has lodged an appeal against the decision of a Federal High Court which affirms it cannot impose fines on radio and television stations.

The NBC through its lead counsel, Mr. Babajide Koku (SAN), asked the appellate court to set aside the verdict of the trial court, particularly its refusal to set aside its judgment over the matter.

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court had in a suit filed by a lawyer, Noah Ajare, on behalf of Media Rights Agenda, held that only courts of law are empowered to impose sanctions for criminal offences.

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The Media Rights Agenda was in that suit challenging the powers of the commission to fine broadcasters, following the imposition of N500,000 fine each on 45 broadcast stations for alleged contraventions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code in 2019.

Justice Omotosho had in his verdict held that NBC was neither a court nor a judicial tribunal to make pronouncements on the guilt of broadcast stations.

But NBC in its four-ground appeal argues that Justice Omotosho erred in law.