Nigerian Press Heads to Supreme Court Over Press Council Law



The Nigerian press has decided to challenge the court of appeal ruling on the controversial law governing the Nigeria Press Council

THE Nigerian media under the aegis of Nigerian Press Organisation, NPO, has resolved to challenge the Court of Appeal judgment on the Nigerian Press Council Act which gives government the power to regulate the media. The decision was taken at an expanded stakeholders meeting of the NPO, comprising the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, in Lagos.

According to a statement jointly signed by Nduka Obaigbena, Comfort Obi, Victoria Ibanga and Waheed Odusile on behalf of the NPO, NPAN, NGE and NUJ respectively, the organisation resolved to appeal the December 4, 2015, decision of the Appeal Court at the Supreme Court of Nigeria immediately and work with the National Assembly to get a suitable self-regulatory Press Council law for professionals in Nigeria. It also said that members of the NPO would not nominate members into the Board of the Press Council until the final determination of the case at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Besides, it promised to encourage the Presdent Muhammadu Buhari administration “to come on board with the NPO to get an acceptable self-regulatory Nigeria Press Council law at the National Assembly.”

The statement said: “That the  Executive in  the  spirit  of  democracy  should  reject  the  NPC decree as it was a product of the military regime and not in tandem  with democratic norms and recent technological development.

“The NPO had been in court since 1999, to challenge the constitutionality of the military-created Press Council Decree which, to give it a garb of general acceptance, was transmuted as an Act of the National Assembly with the advent of democracy in 1999.”

Justice L. Liman of the federal high court, Lagos, had in a judgment delivered on the case on February 25, 2010 held that the Press Council Law was “unconstitutional, null and void.”

—  Jan 20, 2016 @ 17:10 GMT


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