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Daar Communication License Withdrawal: Court Asks NBC To Reverse Decision immediately


The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC on the 27th of May, 2019 withdrew the broadcasting license of Daar Communication PLC over alleged breach of Nigeria broadcasting rules and regulations. Many reasons were stated in NBC letter to Daar Communications but notable Nigerians thinks they are all flimsy.

NBC Director-General, Modibbo Kawu, announcing the suspension on Thursday, said the action was taken for failure of the broadcasting station to abide by the broadcasting code.

In a recent development, A Federal High Court in Abuja reversed the withdrawal of Daar Communication operating licence over alleged breach of broadcasting code. Justice Inyang Ekwo on Friday ordered the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the Attorney General of the Federation to revert back to state of affairs before May 30, 2019.

Justice Ekwo asked the parties to appear before the court on Thursday, June 13 to show cause why the motion on notice challenging the action of the regulatory agency should not be granted. In an ex parte application brought by its lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Daar PLC operators of African Independent Television (AIT), Raypower FM, Faaji FM and Daarsat had on Thursday asked the court to order status quo ante bellum pending the determination of the main suit. 

The NBC had in a letter dated May 27, 2019 accused Daar of breaching the Nigeria’s Broadcasting Code  with its Kakaaki and other programmes and subsequently withdrew its licence. In the suit against  the NBC, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the Attorney General of the Federation,  Daar claimed that it had since the licence of its television and radio stations been conducting its operations in line with Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution. 

It therefore asks the court to make an order “restraining the defendants from blocking, jamming, stopping removing from air and/or interfering with the air waves of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) in any way and manner however called from invading the premises of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) or closing down, viet armis, the said premises, its operations or broadcast services, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed along with this application.” 

Peter Obi's reaction...........

The 2019 vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Peter Obi, has condemned in totality the suspension of DAAR Communication Plc, owner of AIT and RayPower FM by the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

The offences listed by the NBC included the airing of a presidential election documentary by the AIT, a matter pending before a tribunal, the inability of the company to pay its fees, the use of  “divisive and inciting contents from the Social Media” among others.

“The suspension of the licenses of AIT and Ray Power stand condemned. It is an affront on the freedom of the press, and of speech as enshrined in our constitution. It is a throwback to the years of military dictatorship. – PO.”

Oby Ezekwesili's reactions....

In another reaction, former presidential candidate and the convener of BringBackOurGirl, Oby Ezekwesili, attacked the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the FG. In a Twitter message tweeted by Oby while summarizing the letter of suspension: 

“My Summary of this lengthy Sanctions letter from NBC to AIT is simply this: ‘We have warned you several times in the past to stop broadcasting things that upset the Government and NBC. You refused to listen. Now we shall shut you up and down until you are ready to be like NTA’.

“There is nothing in that letter from NBC to AIT that reaches the threshold for withdrawal of license and shut down of a Media house that we all know Government perceives as an ‘Opposition media’. Wisdom should have actually instructed the FG against striking out at them,”.

Dele Momodu's reaction .....

The CEO of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu also reacted to the suspension. Here is what he said:

Aired by AIT yesterday, the controversial documentary that landed it in trouble 
May God Appease The Gods..
Lord have mercy 

What do you thin about this suspension?

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