In Nigeria, the Federal High Court has stopped the National Broadcasting Commission from revoking the licenses of 53 broadcast stations and shutting down their stations.
On Monday, 29 August 2022, Justice Akintayo Aluko granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of an argument on hand presented by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
Both SERAP and the NGE had last week filed a lawsuit against the President 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, the companies had asked the court for “an order of interim injunction restraining the President and NBC, their agents from revoking the licenses of 53 broadcast stations in the country and shutting their operations, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed contemporaneously in this suit.”
The case has been postponed to September 8, 2022, for the hearing of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.
The suit followed the decision by the NBC to cancel the licenses of the 53 broadcast stations and shut down their operations within 24 hours over alleged US$6 158 debt.
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.”