Following a court order by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to lift the suspension against Daar Communications Plc, African Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower FM on Friday evening resumed operations.
Naija Buzz had reported how the NBC announced the suspension of Daar Communications in a statement issued by its Director-General, Modibbo Kawu.
According to the NBC, the suspension came following alleged promotion of divisive and inciting comments on AIT/RayPower capable of heating the polity.
NBC further accused AIT of airing a document on the Presidential Election Tribunal without regard to the provision of the Broadcast Code.
Watch the documentary aired on AIT and led to its suspension;
AIT and RayPower however came back on air on Friday evening following the court order in a suit filed by Daar Communications Plc.
Justice Ekwo instructed all parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case against the NBC, and two others (The Federal Ministry of Culture and Information headed by Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF)).
“An order is hereby made that parties shall maintain status quo ante bellum as at May 30, 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in this case,” the judge said in its ruling.
Daar Communications had few days ago, on May 30, filed an application before the court alleging that there’s credible information of plans by the NBC and the other defendants to invade and shutdown the media house.
About a week after the application, the NBC announced the suspension of the company’s operating license indefinitely.
The High Court judge on Friday in his ruling after listening to the application of the media house through its lawyer, Benson Igbanor, ordered the NBC to maintain status quo.
The judge however rejected the motion seeking to restrain the defendants from invading the premises of Daar Communications, closing down its premises, closing down its operations or broadcast services, until the determination of the case.
He also rejected the motion seeking an order restraining the NBC and the other 2 defendants from blocking or interfering with the airwaves of the media house in a bid to disrupt its news, views, and any of its legitimate broadcasts including the documentary.
The judge rejected the motions because it cannot be granted in the absence of the defendants.
However, he directed the defendants to appear in court on June 13 to explain why the rejected motions shout not be granted.
“Defendants are hereby ordered to show cause on the next date of hearing why the prayers on the motion on notice of the plaintiff/applicant ought not to be granted,” Justice Ekwo said.
“Case adjourned till June 13, 2019 for defendants to appear in court and show cause as ordered,” he added.
Jonathan Dennis is an Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He oversees the production and publication of stories on NaijaBuzz.News and on Naija Buzz News TV. The former banker left his banking job to join Naija Buzz News in 2019. He was briefly the head of the “Wetin Dey Happen” news team. Jonathan is a proud ‘Akwa-Ibomite’ from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.