The Federal High Court in Lagos has stopped the President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Broadcasting Commission from revoking the licenses of 53 broadcast stations in the country, and shutting down the stations for allegedly failing to renew their licenses.
Justice Akintayo Aluko (Court 8) on Monday, granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of an argument on motion exparte by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
SERAP and the NGE had last week filed a lawsuit against Buhari and the NBC, asking the court for “a declaration that section 10(a) of the Third Schedule to the NBC Act used by the 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.”
In the suit, SERAP and the 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 in the country and shutting their down operations, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed contemporaneously in this suit.”
The suit is adjourned to September 8, 2022, for the hearing of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.
The suit followed the decision by the NBC to revoke the licenses of the 53 broadcast stations and shut down their operations within 24 hours over alleged N2.6 billion debt.
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1582/2022, SERAP and the NGE are asking the court to determine “whether section 10(a) of the Third Schedule to the NBC Act used by the NBC to threaten revoke the licenses of 53 broadcast stations and shut them down is not in inconsistent with freedom of expression and access to information.”