The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), and 261 concerned Nigerians, civil society organizations, and media groups have filed a lawsuit against the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] and Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed over the fines the commission imposed on Channels Television, AIT and Arise TV for their coverage of the #EndSARS protests in the country.
A fine of N3million slammed on each of the broadcasters by NBC last week sparked outrage and criticism with many calling for it to be withdrawn.
SERAP and the 261 others concerned about it are now asking the court to “declare arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional, the N9m fines imposed on Channels, AIT and Arise TV [N3m each] over their coverage of the #EndSARS protests, and to stop the NBC from collecting the money”.
In a statement by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, on Sunday, SERAP said the co-plaintiffs in the suit are 255 concerned Nigerians; Premium Times Services Limited; Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development; HEDA Resource Centre; International Centre for Investigative Reporting; African Centre for Media and Information Literacy; and Media Rights Agenda.
The acting Director-General of the NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, is joined in the suit as a Defendant.