Nigerian court overturns ban on opposition TV, radio stations

The National Broadcasting Commission said it had suspended the licence of the Daar Communications Plc, the owners of the two outfits, for breaching broadcast rules.
The National Broadcasting Commission said it had suspended the licence of the Daar Communications Plc, the owners of the two outfits, for breaching broadcast rules.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

A Nigerian radio and television station owned by an opposition politician resumed broadcasting Saturday after a court order temporarily overturned a ban imposed for alleged "inflammatory" content and unpaid licence fees.

The Federal High Court in the capital Abuja on Friday said African Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower FM radio should be allowed to operate until a ruling on their legal challenge to the ban.

The next court hearing is due on Thursday.

The National Broadcasting Commission said it had suspended the licence of the Daar Communications Plc, the owners of the two outfits, for breaching broadcast rules, not paying licence fees and "inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts and media propaganda against the government."

Daar Communications is owned by business tycoon Raymond Dokpesi, a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party..

Dokpesi said the ban was politically motivated and was ordered by the presidency and had warned that a "media and press clampdown is in the offing."

Dokpesi established RayPower FM as the pioneer private Radio in 1994 and AIT in 1998.

Reporters Without Borders places Nigeria in 119th place out of 180 on its World Press Freedom Index.

It says journalists are often threatened, subjected to physical violence, or denied access to information by government officials, police, and sometimes the public itself.

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