Cable Channels Nigeria Ltd (CCNL) has sued the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over an alleged revocation of the content aggregation licence for digital switch granted to the company sometime in 2015.
The Cable Channels is challenging the power of the NBC to revoke the licence without following due process.
In the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/785/2018, instituted by Joshua Musa (SAN), the Cable Channels is praying the court to set aside the purported revocation of its licence.
The content aggregation licence issued to the plaintiff in May 28, 2015 for transition from analogue to digital was said to have been revoked on June 22, 2018 by the NBC via a letter with reference NBC/SEC/LIC/19 Vol. V.
The plaintiff claimed that it has been operating the licence for over two years and the purported revocation by the NBC is unjustified, unknown to law and liable to be declared a nullify.
Beside, the plaintiff is further asking for declaration that “the revocation of the licence by the first defendant for no default on the part of the plaintiff renders the licence fee of N150m paid by the plaintiff recoverable for total failure for consideration.”
The Cable Channels further wants the court to order the NBC to pay it special damages for the purported licence revocation.
The plaintiff said letter written to the company by the NBC, revoking its licence opined that the decision to revoke the licence was taken on the premise “that the licence is alien and not contemplated by the government white paper on the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) on transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Nigeria, April 2012.”
It therefore advised the NBC to rescind its decision more so when the legality of the licence has not been put to legal Interpretation.
Apart from NBC, the Attorney General of the Federation and Ministers of Justice is also a defendants in the matter.
When the case came up Tuesday before Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, none of the defendants was in court or represented by legal practitioner.
Musa, however, asked the court to make an injunctive order, restraining the defendants from carrying out the threat.
He further pleaded with court to order a revert to status quo, prior to revocation of the licence.
However, the judge advised the plaintiff to come on the adjourned date to argue the interlocutory injunction and evidence to show that all parties have been put on notice.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter to Nov. 19.