NBC/AIT saga: Court orders maintenance of status quo

Raymond Dokpesi

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an order ex-parte for the maintenance of status quo, pending determination of a motion filed by DAAR Communications Plc in its suit challenging the suspension of its operating licence by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

DAAR Communications is the parent company of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM.

Justice Inyang Ekwo granted the motion on Friday.

The judge rejected DAAR’s two prayers, seeking restraining orders against the respondents – NBC, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC) and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

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

NBC had EARLIER queried AIT over the use of social media comments in one of its programmes, Kakaaki, and ‘unprofessional’ conducts by the media house.

However, Justice Ekwo said DAAR would be penalised should it turn out, at the end of the day, that the order ought not to have been made.

The judge said that by the issues raised in its application by DAAR Communications, the respondents deserved to be heard.

He ordered the respondents – NBC, FMIC, AGF – “to appear in court on the next date to show cause why the prayers in the applicant’s motion should not be granted.”

The case was adjourned till June 13, 2019.