Nollywood movie producer and director, Charles Uwagbai, has dragged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) before a Federal High Court in Lagos over an alleged illegal amendment of the 6th National Broadcasting Code.
Uwagbai in a suit filed on his behalf on Friday by his lawyer, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), is asking the court to stop the implementation of the new code and set aside the amendment to the broadcast regulatory framework.
The movie producer who is famous for producing and directing movies such as Esohe, Breathless and Twisted Twins, wants the court to nullify the amendment to the code on the grounds that the NBC Act can only be amended by a legislation and not by a mere recommendation or public presentation. He contended that NBC went beyond its responsibilities.
Uwagbai further demanded the court in the suit to among other things, make a declaration that the NBC being a statutory creation can only be reformed by a legislative amendment to the Statute that created it and not by “approval of the President of the Recommendations of the Committee on the Reform of the National Broadcasting Commission and/or a “Public presentation of amendments of the 6th edition of the Broadcasting Code to stakeholders” by “the Board and Management of NBC”.
“A declaration that the power vested in the Defendant to establish and disseminate a national broadcasting code, under Section 2(1)(h) of the National Broadcasting Commission Act, Cap N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, is exercisable only by a meeting and decision/resolution) of a Quorum of its stipulated members in Section 3 of the Act, and Rules 1, 4, 7, 8 and 11 of the First Schedule (“Supplementary Provisions Relating to the Commission”) to the Act;
“A declaration that the establishment and dissemination of a purported ‘Addendum to the 6th Edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code’ by the persons or bodies and/or through the process/procedure stated in the preface (at page 6) thereof is unknown to law, and therefore null, void and of no effect whatsoever and howsoever.
“An order setting aside the said “Addendum to the 6th Edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code” for constituting an abuse, by capture and subversion of the responsibility vested in the defendant under section 2 of the NBC Act.”
In the alternative to the declarations and orders sought, Uwagbai wants the court to grant an injunction restraining the Defendant from the dissemination or further dissemination or implementation of the purported “Addendum to the 6th Edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code”.
The filmmaker is also asking the court to set aside the purported “Addendum to the 6th Edition of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code” in the absence of the required disclosure. No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.
Citing Section 2(1)(h) of the NBC Act, Cap N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Uwagbai argued that the power vested on the NBC to amend a code states that it must have a meeting of a quorum of its members in Section 3 of the Act, and Rules 1, 4, 7, 8 and 11 of the First Schedule to the Act.
Uwagbai further asked the court in the suit to order the NBC to publish a list of members in attendance as well as proceedings of its meetings in which the amendment was approved.
However, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit filed against the NBC by Uwagbai.