SERAP Describes DAAR Communications’ Licence Suspension As ‘Blatant Illegality’

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Updated June 7, 2019

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have described the suspension of the operating licence of DAAR Communications PLC by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as blatant illegality.

The group also said they are considering all the legal options to challenge NBC over the suspension of DAAR Communications licence.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Friday by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare.

We are considering all the legal options to challenge this blatant illegality.

These grounds are so subjective that if allowed to stand would seriously undermine freedom of expression, media freedom and access to information in the country. The mere fact that forms of expression on AIT/Raypower are considered by NBC to be insulting is not sufficient to justify the indefinite suspension. These grounds do not meet the requirements of legality, reasonableness, due process, necessity, and proportionality.

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The suspension amounts to an unnecessary or disproportionate interference with freedom of expression and media freedom. NBC ought to show a greater level of independence in the exercise of its statutory powers. Without independence, NBC cannot satisfactorily perform its duties. If allowed to stand, this suspension may be perceived as a threat to restrict the media and open the door to limitations on expression and media operations. This would be entirely inconsistent with constitutional provisions and international law, and undermine the governments commitment to fighting grand corruption.

SERAP also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail NBC to immediately end the suspension to strengthen the independence of the NBC, if the countrys constitutional and international legal commitments to freedom of expression, media freedom and access to information are not to be undermined.