By Henry Ojelu
A movie company, Oakfil Productions Limited, has dragged the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, before a Federal High Court in Lagos over the recent amendment of the broadcasting code.
In its deposition before the court, the company contended that the NBC lacks the statutory powers to make amendments or sign the NBC code.
Insisting that the recently reported amendment to the broadcasting code was an act of illegality, the company asked the court to compel NBC to comply with the procedure prescribed by the National Broadcasting Commission Act in making amendments to the code.
It also wants the court to declare that NBC acted ultra vires improperly, in bad faith, and in gross abuse of the powers vested in it by the National Broadcasting Commission Act when it allowed its management to make the sixth edition of the National Broadcasting Code.
Amongst the company’s numerous prayers before the court is an order restraining the NBC from acting on the code or giving effect in any manner whatsoever to the said sixth edition of the National Broadcasting Code.
The NBC, in the new regulation, states that every broadcaster must license its broadcast and/or signal rights in any genre of programming to another broadcaster in Nigeria if the genre of programme enjoys compelling viewership by Nigerians, relates to a product or service that is objectively necessary to be able to compete effectively on a downstream market; or if it is likely to lead to the elimination of effective competition on the downstream markets.
The new subsidiary legislation also stipulates the imposition of a N10 million fine for operators who refuse to comply.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.