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SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code - Politics - Nairaland

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SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by valentineuwakwe(m): 12:00pm On May 02
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and 24 concerned Nigerians have sued the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the National Broadcasting Commission at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja.

SERAP said the suit is over “the arbitrary use of the NBC Act and broadcasting code to target, harass, sanction, and fine independent television and radio stations in Nigeria, and to restrict Nigerians’ freedom of expression and access to information.”

The rights group is asking the ECOWAS Court to declare “illegal and contrary to Nigeria’s international human rights obligations the provisions of the NBC Act and broadcasting code frequently apply by the Federal Government and NBC to target, harass, intimidate, and impose sanctions on independent television and radio stations in the country.”


The suit is coming in the wake of the “‘bridge [breach] letter’ by the NBC asking Channels TV to explain why it interviewed the spokesman of a proscribed organisation; the ban on Jay FM 101.9 Jos for playing songs such as Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’, Wande Coal’s ‘Iskaba’ and Olamide’s ‘See Mary, See Jesus’; and the N9m fines imposed on Channels TV, AIT and Arise TV [N3m each] over their coverage of the #EndSARS protests.”

In the suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/19/21 and filed last week, the Plaintiffs are arguing that “the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom allow Nigerians to seek and attain truth, which is an inherently good activity. These rights also allow Nigerians to participate in representative governance, social and political decision-making, which the Federal Government and NBC are obligated to foster and encourage.”

According to the Plaintiffs, “Attempts to justify restrictions on these fundamental rights and freedom on the overly vague grounds of incitement, morality and subversion of the constituted authority contradict the principles of the universality of human rights. Freedom of Expression is a fundamental human right and cannot be denied without lawful justification.”

The Plaintiffs are also arguing that “the application of the Nigerian Broadcasting Act 1992 and broadcasting code to sanction independent television and radio stations is arbitrary, and has created an environment in which independent media houses are censored, or resort to self-censorship.”

The Plaintiffs state that “despite the Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria which guarantees the right to access public records, the Federal Government and its agents and several states of Nigeria have routinely refused to release information sought.”

The Plaintiffs are also arguing that “a lot of Nigerians at home and abroad rely on independent television and radio stations including online on their coverage of topical issues of public interest to access impartial, objective and critical information about ideas and views on how the Federal Government and its agents are performing their constitutional and international human rights obligations.”

The suit filed on behalf of the Plaintiffs by their lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part, “The low level of political tolerance for views perceived to be critical of government or offensive means that the press continues to be subject of scare tactics, harassment and intimidation.”

“Censorship restricts the flow of information from the Federal Government and its agents about issues of public interest, preventing people from accessing critical information, expressing themselves, and denying them opportunities to assert other fundamental human rights.”

“It also violates the rights of people to openly discuss issues relating to transparency and accountability in government, and prevents them from accessing information on a wide range of related concerns.”

“The Federal Government and NBC should be stopped from using the broadcasting code or any other regulations and/or law to erode the sacred rights to freedom of expression, information and media freedom, which is the bedrock of the rule of law and sustainable democracy.”

“The Federal Government and NBC have routinely breached the fundamental principles of media freedom and media plurality, which are a central part of the effective exercise of freedom of expression and access to information, and thereby undermined the ability of Nigeria’s independent media houses to function effectively.”

The persistent use of the NBC Act and broadcasting code by the Federal Government and the NBC is a blatant violation of the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom, as well as prohibition against self-censorship.”

“The rights to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom promote diversity in forms of individual self-fulfillment and human flourishing, which the Federal Government and its agents ought to cultivate to achieve a tolerant and welcoming environment for the sake of good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

“The Federal Government and NBC have violated the right of Nigerians to objective and impartial news coverage and reportage, as they continue to impermissibly restrict individuals’ rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and press freedom in Nigeria.”

“The Federal Government and NBC have seriously undermined the ability of independent media houses to practice journalism free from undue interference, to cover diverse views that are crucial to the exercise of many other rights and freedoms.”

The Plaintiffs are therefore asking the ECOWAS Court of Justice for the following reliefs:

A DECLARATION that the application of the provisions of the National Broadcasting Commission Act 1992 and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code by the Defendant and its agent to impose sanctions and penalties on independent television and radio stations is inconsistent and incompatible with the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom guaranteed under Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“AN ORDER setting aside the sum of Five Million Naira or any other form of penal sanction unilaterally imposed by the Defendant and its agent on Channels TV and/or on any such other television and radio stations.

AN ORDER directing the Defendant and its agents to immediately repeal and/or amend the National Broadcasting Commission Act and the Nigerian Broadcasting Code and bring them into conformity with Nigeria’s international human rights obligations.

“AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Defendant and its agents from unlawfully imposing sanctions fines or doing anything whatsoever to harass Channels TV and any other television and radio stations in violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

“SUCH FURTHER order or orders the Honorable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this suit.”

SERAP said no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
source: https://punchng.com/serap-drags-fg-to-ecowas-court-over-nbc-broadcasting-code/

9 Likes 1 Share

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by kennykruzmason: 12:03pm On May 02
hope it yield results

5 Likes

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Joysticks(m): 1:10pm On May 02
The same buhari that refused to release dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu on ECOWAS court order.Buhari is above the law.

3 Likes

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Cyberterror: 1:31pm On May 02
SERAP be seeking attention like..

1 Share

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Mynd44: 2:52pm On May 02
1. The broadcast codes isn't written or prepared by the NBC. Every year, all broadcast media houses meet and they decide own the codes. Every media outlet is represented and theu all give inputs and dispute true part of true chores theu don’t agree with amongst themselves hence anyone who goes against the codes is silly.

2. The ECOWAS court has no real power.

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by BrickDevo: 2:56pm On May 02
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by renegades(m): 2:57pm On May 02
Nice move
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by BruncleZuma: 2:57pm On May 02
grin grin grin grin
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Kingspin(m): 2:58pm On May 02
Insecurity will not go soon because the head of terrorism is in Abuja
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by NwaNimo1(m): 2:59pm On May 02




About time.....

1 Like 1 Share

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by bolaayenimo: 3:00pm On May 02
SERAP is a rogue organization, pretending as good
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by gbaskiboy(m): 3:00pm On May 02
ok o
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Nobody: 3:00pm On May 02
SERAP are just wasting their time

They would acheive better results by getting Nigerians to get their senators to amend the laws governing the functions of the NBC, instead of going to ECOWAS court, whose rulings have as much weight as a speck of sand.

But the thing is, SERAP, like most Nigerians prefers spectacular displays, rather than good hard work
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by INCREDIBLE007(m): 3:01pm On May 02
neutral ground
confirm
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by ObalaEmma: 3:01pm On May 02
All institution for corruption have no real power to make any change in this goverment. Serap is no diffrent . Unfortuntely, Fg hasnt obeyed Ecowas decision in the past.
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Fozi(m): 3:01pm On May 02
Buhari’s Government is Full of Witchcraft

1 Like

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Makawulee(m): 3:02pm On May 02
Na only to dey Ban naira Marley dey sabi

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Nobody: 3:03pm On May 02
Mynd44:
1. The broadcast codes isn't written or prepared by the NBC. Every year, all broadcast media houses meet and they decide own the codes. Every media outlet is represented and theu all give inputs and dispute true part of true chores theu don’t agree with amongst themselves hence anyone who goes against the codes is silly.

2. The ECOWAS court has no real power.

Interesting.

But a better thing would be for people to petition their representative to pass laws preventing what happened to Channels from happening again.
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by ArewaNightmare: 3:09pm On May 02
grin grin
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by CocoaOla: 3:11pm On May 02
This group is really trying if can have many of this group Nigeria will conquer bad leadership

Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by remi4ever(m): 3:11pm On May 02
grin

Let me develop your mobile apps and desktop solution for your business.

Check my signature.
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by kioski: 3:19pm On May 02
The drum is still beating and dancers should be caught up in the frenzy. Too bad they didn't see it then when they thought the government was the best alternative because Obama told them so. Now the picture is clear in 4D.
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Tobechuckwu(m): 3:20pm On May 02
I think most pple don't know this thing work, once d case is still in court, NBC cannot fine them anymore bcuz of the pending court judgement.
They might just drag it in court for so long so as to buy time for broadcasting companies.
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by buckeyemedia: 3:24pm On May 02
kennykruzmason:
hope it yield results
Dead on arrival, Sure because it was Ecowas that gave them the license to operate in Nigeria? They should have gone to the United Nations instead, Zombie Syrup.
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by uchennaq(m): 3:24pm On May 02
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by buckeyemedia: 3:27pm On May 02
Tobechuckwu:
I think most pple don't know this thing work, once d case is still in court, NBC cannot fine them anymore bcuz of the pending court judgement.
They might just drag it in court for so long so as to buy time for broadcasting companies.
NBC will just revoke their license before the court case is over, let them go & call police to enforce their revoked rights, The Babylonians will admonish them that the case is in court, let them wait for 5 years until the case is resolved.
Re: SERAP Drags FG To Ecowas Court Over NBC Broadcasting Code by Dmanlex(m): 3:48pm On May 02
Nice one SERAP

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