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AIT: Court Asks NBC, DAAR To Maintain Status Quo



A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday ordered DAAR Communications Plc and the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit brought by the broadcaster against the suspension of its operating licence.

DAAR Communications, owners of the country’s first private radio and television stations, Raypower and AIT had gone to court on Friday to seek an ex parte injunction against the suspension of its licence by the NBC.

The NBC alleged political bias and unfettered use of languages against the country for its action besides the claim that the broadcaster was owing on its licence.

DAAR, however, accused the director-general of the NBC, Modibo Kawu of playing a partisan agenda to satisfy the agenda of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Kawu is a chieftain of the APC and had sought the party’s ticket to acquire the governorship ticket ahead of the Kwara State governorship election.

DAAR has also accused Kawu of being susceptible to pressures from the Federal Government on account of the corruption allegations he is fighting in the courts.

Ruling on DAAR’s exparte application on Friday, Justice Inyang Ekwo granted an “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.”

The judge, however, ruled that DAAR would be subjected to penalty if the restraining orders sought by the broadcaster are found not to be meritorious.

Justice Ekwo, however, rejected two prayers by the plaintiff to restrain the NBC, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, and the Attorney General of the Federation from impeding its operations.

Further hearing on the substantive suit was adjourned to June 13.

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