The High Court in Lagos, Nigeria, has extended the order to stop President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Broadcasting Commission from cancelling the licenses of 53 broadcast stations in the country and shutting down the stations for allegedly failing to renew their licenses.
The Honourable Justice Akintayo Aluko had, on 29 August 2022, granted an order of interim injunction.
The ruling followed the hearing of an argument on motion by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
When the case resumed on Thursday, 9 September 2022, Justice Aluko extended the order of interim injunction pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice and adjourned the case to 26 October 2022 for the hearing of the originating summons.
If you will recall, SERAP and NGE had in August filed a lawsuit against President Buhari and the NBC, asking 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.”
In the suit, the two bodies (SERAP, NGE) had asked the court for “an order of interim injunction restraining President 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.”
SERAP and NGE are also pursuing “a declaration that section 10(a) of the National Broadcasting Act used by NBC to unilaterally cancel the licenses of the broadcast stations and shutdown the stations is a violation of the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to a fair hearing.”
The suit read in part: “The provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and human rights treaties on freedom of expression indicate that this right can be exercised through any medium.