SERAP drags FG to ECOWAS court

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Meanwhile; the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and 24 concerned Nigerians have taken the government of President MUHAMMADU BUHARI and the National Broadcasting Commission to the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja.



SERAP said the suit is over what it called the arbitrary use of the NBC Act and broadcasting code to target, harass, sanction, and fine independent television and radio stations in Nigeria, and to restrict Nigerians’ freedom of expression and access to information.




The rights group is asking the ECOWAS Court to declare illegal and contrary to Nigeria’s international human rights obligations, the provisions of the NBC Act and broadcasting code frequently applied by the Federal Government and NBC to target and impose sanctions on independent television and radio stations in the country.




The suit is coming in the wake of the bridge letter by the NBC asking Channels TV to explain why it interviewed the spokesman of a proscribed organization; the ban on Jay FM in Jos and the nine million naira fines imposed on Channels TV, AIT and Arise TV over their coverage of the #EndSARS protests.




In the suit the Plaintiffs are arguing that the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom allow Nigerians to seek and attain truth, which is an inherently good activity.




The Plaintiffs are also arguing that the application of the Nigerian Broadcasting Act 1992 and broadcasting code to sanction independent television and radio stations is arbitrary, and has created an environment in which independent media houses are censored, or resort to self-censorship.”


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