Court nullifies NBC license suspension on DAAR Communications AIT, Raypower

Following the suspension of operating licenses of AIT and Ray Power, Justice Inyang Ekwo-led Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has, Friday, nullified the suspension of operating license of Daar Communications PLC, operator of AIT and Ray Power.

The Federal High Court in Abuja granted an order ex-parte for the maintenance of status quo pending the determination of a motion filed by DAAR Communications in its suit challenging the action of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

Justice Ekwo had ordered the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the Attorney General of the Federation to appear before the court on Thursday, June 13 to show cause why the motion on notice by Daar Communications PLC, challenging the ban should not be granted.

However, In an ex parte application, Daar Communications PLC, had, through its lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Thursday, asked the court to order the Commission to revert its ban. Daar Communications PLC, In the suit against the NBC, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Daar claimed that did not breach any broadcast code

It asked the court to grant its prayers in “restraining the defendants from blocking, jamming, stopping removing from air and/or interfering with the air waves of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) in any way and manner however called from invading the premises of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) or closing down, viet armis, the said premises, its operations or broadcast services, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed along with this application.”

Delivering his ruling on Friday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, rejected two prayers by DAAR Communication, owners of the two stations, for restraining orders against the respondents – NBC, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

DAAR Communications had, in the reliefs sought to restrain the respondents from interfering with its operations pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions.

Instead, Justice Ekwo granted the alternative relief, “an order for the maintenance of status quo ante bellum as at 30th of May, 2019, pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice filed along with this application.”

Justice Ekwo said the applicant, DAAR would be penalised should it turn out, at the end of the day, that the order ought not to have been made.

The judge noted that, by the issues raised in its application by DAAR Communications, the respondents deserved to be heard.

Justice Ekwo adjourned further proceedings till June 13, 2019.

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