Court bars Buhari, NBC from shutting down 53 broadcast stations

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Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has stopped President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) from revoking the licenses of 53 broadcast stations, and shutting down the stations for allegedly failing to renew their licenses.

Aluko gave the order while ruling on an ex parte application filed and argued by the counsel of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) to that effect.

SERAP and NGE had, last week, filed a lawsuit against Buhari and NBC, praying the court for a declaration that Section 10(a) of the Third Schedule to the NBC Act used by NBC to threaten to revoke the licenses of 53 broadcast stations and to shut down the stations is unconstitutional and unlawful, as it violates freedom of expression.

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In the suit, SERAP and NGE had asked the court for an order of interim injunction restraining Buhari and NBC, their agents from revoking the licenses of 53 broadcast stations and shutting their down operations, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed contemporaneously in this suit.

Justice Aluko fixed September 8, 2022 for the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

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