A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos has held that the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) acted beyond its powers in seeking to regulate the practice of advertising in Nigeria, Newsbreak reports.
The trial judge, Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, submitted that the NBC lacks the power to bar exclusivity on privately-acquired intellectual property right in programme contents of a right holder.
Also, the court set aside the proposed amendment to the 6th Edition of the NBC Code for being incompetent, null, and void, and permanently restrained the commission from implementing it.
The court delivered the judgment, in a suit filed by a Lagos-based journalist, Femi Davies.
Davies had approached the court contending among other things that the amendment sought by the defendant to the 6th edition of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code is in violation of his rights to own intellectual property in Nigeria over which he can exercise exclusive rights.
He had also argued that the amendment if allowed will greatly affect business and the development of Nigeria as a whole as it will frustrate tonnes of investment and hard work of many years.
In his judgment, Justice Lewis-Allagoa said: “I agree with the submission that acquisition of exclusive rights to broadcast a particular program is an investment for returns and by the above-stated provisions, no one should be forced to surrender same when it is lawfully acquired.
“I agree with the plaintiff counsel that the said proposed amendment is a violation of the principle of fair hearing and natural justice. The proposed amendment purports that the defendant NBC shall without any fact-finding or recourse to the other party place the advertising agency on its black list, solely based on the complaint of a media house to the defendant and the defendant acting has the authority to itself shall pass its verdict without hearing the other parties.”