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Miracle Broadcast: Court Disagrees With Nigeria’s NBC

This Day, Nigeria
July 19, 2004
Lillian Okenwa And Abimbola Akosile • Tuesday July 20, 2004

A Federal High Court in Abuja at the weekend dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), challenging the suit filed by some members of Christ Embassy opposing NBC’s stoppage of miracle broadcast.

Ruling on NBC’s March 30 objections, the court said the 1999 Constitution empowers the plaintiffs to challenge the directives.

Justice Steve Jonah Adah who gave the verdict said Sections 38 and 39 of the Constitution, which deals with fundamental rights of the citizenry, like freedom of thought, conscience and religion allows Chris Embassy to seek remedies whenever their rights are infringed on.

Citing section 46 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, he said: “this section to my mind gives an enduring and unparalleled right of action to any person who alleges that any of the provisions of this chapter has been, is being or likely to be contravened may apply for enforcement.

“With this provision, it is my candid opinion and a sincere appreciation of the law that the Constitution has created an unbridled access to court by any one whose right is breached or whose right is threatened.”

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has been enjoined to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and its agents from enforcing or continuing the enforcement of its directive issued on March 31, prohibiting live broadcast of news programmes received from foreign stations outside Nigeria, and the airing or broadcast of ‘unverified miracles’ programmes by television and radio stations.

In an originating summons with suit No. FHC/L/CS/492/04 filed by Mr Joseph Otteh, counsel of Access to Justice, on behalf of Mrs. Rita Dibia, Access to Justice, Mr. Christian Wogu, and Mr. Alex Molokwu, plaintiffs sued NBC, Attorney-General of the Federation, Daar Communications Limited, Channels Television, Minaj Broadcast International (MBI), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), DBN Television, and Murhi International Television (MITV), for constitutional determination of the directive.

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