#EndSARS coverage: Court strikes out SERAP’s suit against Lai Mohammed, NBC

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

 

Aiyeku Timothy

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja struck out the case filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Friday.

In its ruling, the Court said that SERAP has no locus standi in the case as it’s not a part of the matter.

The presiding judge also described the case brought before it by SERAP as “a mere academic exercise.”

It would be recalled that some broadcast stations were dragged to court with a N9 million fine imposed on them for their coverage of the #EndSARS protests.

The broadcast stations affected are Arise TV, AIT and Channels TV.

SERAP had approached the court a few weeks ago to stop the Minister of information and the NBC from having their prayers being granted.

The Right group asked the Court to declare arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional the N3 million fines imposed on each of the stations.

In the suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/1436/2020 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the plaintiffs are seeking an order setting aside the fines and any other penal sanction unilaterally imposed by Mohammed and the NBC on the stations and on any other radio/television stations.

It read, “If the NBC and Mr Lai Mohammed are allowed to continue to use these oppressive provisions against independent media in the guise of performing their statutory duties, the end result will be authoritarianism and denial of freedom and liberty.

“The NBC and Mr Lai Mohammed have consistently used broadcasting codes to suppress the watchdog roles of independent media, and to violate Nigerians’ human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, to disseminate and receive information, and hold their government and public officials to account.”

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