Categories: Local

Court Rules That NBC Can’t Regulate Advertising In Nigeria

A file photo of a court gavel.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has held that the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) acted beyond its powers in seeking to regulate the practice of advertising in Nigeria contrary to the provisions of the extant Advertising Practitioners (Regulation) Act of 2004.

The court also declared that the NBC lacks the power to prohibit exclusivity on privately acquired intellectual property right in programme contents of a right holder viz a viz the salient provisions of the constitution and the copyright act.

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa also set aside the proposed amendment to the 6th Edition of the NBC Code for being ultra vires, incompetent null and void, and perpetually restrained the Commission from implementing it.

The court delivered the judgment, in a suit filed by a Lagos based journalist, Mr Femi Davies.

READ ALSO: Buhari Approves Reconstitution Of NBC Board

Mr Davies had approached the court contending among other things that the amendment sought by the defendant to the 6th edition of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code is in violation of his rights to own intellectual property in Nigeria over which he can exercise exclusive rights.

He had also argued that the amendment if allowed will greatly affect business and the development of the country as a whole as it will frustrate tonnes of investment and hard work of many years.

The NBC on its part had submitted that the amendment to the 6th broadcasting code was done to protect local operators, promote creativity and maximize local contents due to the anti trust provisions contained in the amendment.

It also claimed that the amendment was intended to among other things stimulate growth in the industry and attract foreign investment which would benefit the media industry generally.

But the plaintiff, Mr Davies argued amongst other things, that if allowed, the amendment would greatly violate his right to a fair hearing.

He asked the court to uphold his six reliefs as set out in his originating summons.

The plaintiff’s reliefs include “a declaration that the NBC lacks the requisite vires to prohibit exclusivity on privately acquired intellectual property right in program content of a right-holder viz-a-viz the salient provisions of the constitution and the Copyright Act.

“A declaration that the commission acted ultra-vires in so far as it sought to regulate the practice of advertising in Nigeria contrary to the provisions of the extant Advertising Practitioners (Registration, etc) Act, 2004.

“A declaration that the commission acted ultra vires when it sought to retroactively compel right holders of programme content to compulsorily share extant right acquired under existing licence under the proposed amendment to the 6th Edition of the NBC Code.

“A declaration that the commission acted ultra vires when it sought to retroactively compel right holders of programme content to compulsorily share extant right acquired through a partnership and /or joint venture with an investor under the proposed Amendment to NBC Code.

“An order setting aside the amendment of the NBC Code and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the NBC from implementing the Amendment to the NBC Code.

In his judgment, Justice Lewis-Allagoa held:

“I agree with the submission that acquisition of exclusive rights to Broadcast a particular program is an investment for returns and by virtue of the above-stated provisions, no one should be forced to surrender same when it is lawfully acquired…

“I am in agreement with the plaintiff counsel that the said proposed amendment is a violation of the principle of fair hearing and natural justice. The proposed amendment purports that the defendant NBC shall without any fact-finding or recourse to the other party place the advertising agency on its black list, solely based on the complaint of a media house to the defendant and the defendant acting has the authority to itself shall pass its verdict without hearing the other parties.

“I have determined the questions in the originating summon in favour of the plaintiff.

“For reasons hereinbefore given, consequently, all the reliefs sought by the plaintiff are granted as prayed. That is the judgment of the court .”

Solomon Elusoji

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
Solomon Elusoji
Tags: advertising NBC

Recent Posts

  • Crime Watch

IRT Nabs Owerri Prison Escapes 

  Officers of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have rearrested two inmates who escaped…

25 mins ago
  • Russia invades Ukraine

‘Little By Little’: Ukraine Grinds Away On Northeastern Front

  The motivation to keep fighting the Russians is simple for Viking, a Ukrainian soldier near the northeastern frontlines as…

41 mins ago
  • Qatar 2022
  • Sports

Croatia Win To Knock Canada Out Of World Cup

  Croatia got their World Cup campaign back on track as Andrej Kramaric's double inspired a 4-1 win that eliminated…

1 hour ago
  • Local

Adeleke Freezes Osun Accounts, Reverse State’s Name

  Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has frozen all government accounts and also reversed the state’s name.  He made…

1 hour ago
  • Crime Watch

Troops Kill Four Bandits In Kaduna

  Troops of Operation Forest Sanity have killed four bandits during clearance operations in identified hideouts around Tsohon Gayan Village…

2 hours ago
  • Politics

Katsina PDP Youths Vow To Deliver Six Million Votes For Atiku

  Youths in Katsina State under the auspices of the Atiku Support Organization have vowed to deliver at least six…

2 hours ago