A federal high court, Abuja has stopped the Nigerian government-owned National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) from imposing fines on broadcast stations.
This is the decision pronounced in a judgement delivered by Justice James Omotosho on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
Revealed that NBC is not a court of law, also set aside the N500,000 fines imposed on 45 broadcast stations across Nigeria on March 1, 2019.
These was followed by an order of perpetual injunction restraining NBC from imposing fines on broadcast stations in the future.
Justice Omotosho held that the NBC Code, which gives the commission the power to impose sanctions, is in conflict with Section 6 of the Constitution which vests judicial power in the court of law.
“This will go against the doctrine of separation of powers,” he said.
The judge also stated that the commission did not comply with the law when it acted as both a complainant and judge in its own matter.
Finally, he noted that the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which empowers an administrative body such as the NBC to enforce its provisions, cannot confer judicial powers on the commission to impose criminal sanctions or penalties such as fines.