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ECOWAS Court Issues Ruling Mandating Adjustments To Nigerian Press Council. - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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ECOWAS Court Issues Ruling Mandating Adjustments To Nigerian Press Council. by Acechief: 11:14am On Nov 27, 2023
The ECOWAS Court of Justice recently directed the Nigerian government to modify specific parts of the 1992 Nigerian Press Council Act to align with global standards supporting free, diverse, and professional journalism.

This decision came after two Nigerian journalists filed a lawsuit, alleging that the government violated their freedom of expression rights by imposing restrictive conditions for journalism practice.

The journalists argued that the 1992 Nigerian Press Council Act unfairly discriminated against online and citizen journalists, failing to acknowledge the significance of public interest media.

The ECOWAS Court, through Hon Justice Dupe Atoki, the Judge Rapporteur, ruled in favor of the journalists, stating that Sections 19 (1)(a), 27, and 37 of the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) Act did not recognize public interest media, including the rights of online and citizen journalists.

This, according to the Court, violated Article 9 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), as well as Article 8 (1) and 10 (2) of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa.

However, not all claims made by the journalists were upheld by the Court. Some allegations, such as unlawful arrest and detention, were dismissed due to lack of substantiation.

Despite the journalists’ request for one million USD in damages, the Court did not grant this appeal.

This legal matter, identified by the suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/31/21, was initiated on June 14, 2021, by lawyers representing the applicants, Mr. Isaac Olamikan and Mrs.

Edoghogho Ugberease, who are online and citizen journalists advocating for freedom of expression, opinion, and access to information.

They contended that the specified sections of the Nigeria Press Council Act of 1992, which mandated journalists to be at least 18 years old and accredited by the NPC, discriminated against them.

Additionally, they argued that the requirement of 25 years of age to be an editor, along with the necessity of working experience in a reputable media organization or news agency and registration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, posed further discriminatory challenges.

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Re: ECOWAS Court Issues Ruling Mandating Adjustments To Nigerian Press Council. by jkpbestseries: 11:17am On Nov 27, 2023
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