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Court Grants MRA Permission To Challenge NBC’s Refusal To Disclose Payment Of License Fees By Broadcasting Stations
A Federal High Court in Lagos today granted Media Rights Agenda (MRA) leave to proceed with its Freedom of Information (FOI) suit against the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for refusing to disclose details of payments of license fees by broadcasting stations and platforms operating in Nigeria and the amount owed the Commission by stations as license fees.
Justice Ambrose Lewis Alagoa paved the way for the suit to proceed upon a preliminary motion brought by MRA’s lawyer, Mr. Alimi Adamu, asking the Court to grant the organization leave to mount a legal challenge to NBC’s failure to provide it with the information it requested through a letter dated August 22, 2022.
In the suit in which the NBC and the Attorney-General of the Federation are named as Respondents, MRA is contending that the NBC’s refusal to provide it with the information it requested amounts to a breach of its right of access to information as well as a flagrant violation of the FOI Act.
The motion ex-parte brought by Mr. Adamu, pursuant to Order 34, Rules 1, 3(1) and (2) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and Sections 1(3) and 20 of the FOI Act, asked the court to grant MRA leave to seek the following reliefs:
· A declaration that the NBC’s denial of access to MRA of the information it requested by a letter dated August 22, 2022 constitutes a violation of the organization’s rights of access to information established and guaranteed by Section 1(1) and 4 of the FOI Act;
· A declaration that the NBC’s failure and/or refusal to give MRA a written notice that access to all or part of the information it requested would not be granted with reasons for the denial and the section of the FOI Act upon which the Commission relied to deny the organization access to the information requested amounts to a flagrant violation of Section 4 (b) and 7 (1) of the FOI Act;
· A declaration that by its failure to give MRA access to all or part of the information applied for in its letter dated August 22, 2022, within the time limit set out in the Act, the NBC is deemed to have refused to give MRA access to the information requested, as provided under Section 7(4) of the FOI Act;
· An order directing the NBC to disclose or make available to MRA a list of all broadcasting stations and platforms operating in Nigeria licensed by the Commission; the amount that each of them is required to pay as license fees; the status of payment of each of the station from the date of its license to August 22, 2022; for those licensed broadcasting stations that are owing, the amount of indebtedness and the period covered by the amount; and for broadcasting corporations owned by various State Governments included in the list of the broadcasting stations whose broadcast licenses were revoked by the Commission as announced by its Director-General in his press briefing on August 19, 2022, a breakdown of the amount of indebtedness by each of the radio stations and each of the television stations owned by the respective State-owned broadcasting corporations.
· An order directing the NBC to deposit the information requested by MRA with the court pending the determination of the suit;
· An order directing the NBC to pay to MRA the sum of N1 million as exemplary and aggravated damages for the flagrant and unlawful violation of the organization’s right of access to information; and
· An order directing the Attorney-General of the Federation to initiate criminal proceedings against the NBC for the offence of wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7 (5) of the FOI Act.
Upon listening to Mr. Adamu move the motion and after reviewing the motion papers as well as a copy of MRA’s request to the NBC, Justice Alagoa granted the request as prayed.
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Tinubu Reading January Newspaper In October, This Photo Is A Disappointment – Omokri
Nigerian socio-political activist, Reno Omokri, has taken to the microblogging platform, Twitter, to mock the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congres (APC), Bola Tinubu, over a viral photo showing him reading a January 2022 newspaper in October 2022.
Recall that Tinubu had posted a photo of himself earlier on the bird app reading a newspaper.
Tinubu’s photo which is perceived to be an attempt by the presidential hopeful to dispel rumours about his health status has since generated a barrage of reactions on social media.
Joining the host of others in making a mockery of the presidential candidate, Omokri on Thursday afternoon wrote: “This story was published on January 23, 2022. First an old video of your riding an exercise bike. Now, an old photo of your reading ab outdated newspaper? Bola, you should definitely fire the propagandist handling your Twitter account.”
1,351 total views, 1,351 views today
Release Of 23 Kaduna Train Victims: Giving Details‘ll Subject Families To Fresh Trauma – DHQ
The Rescue of the 23 remaining victims of the Kaduna-Abuja train attack on Wednesday, 5th October, 2022 after six months in terrorist’s captivity has been described as a non-kinetic operation, with the Defence headquarters’ stating that giving details of how they were rescued, would subject their families to a fresh trauma.
This is just as the DHQ said that though there was a lot of secrecy involved in the operation because of the high powered committee members involved, the terrorists involved will definitely be fished out and made to face the consequences of their criminal actions.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Dan Madami and the Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor both made the disclosure on Thursday at a media briefing.
Asked to tell Nigerians how Nigerian security agents secured the release of the victims and what happened to the terrorists, Major General Dan Madami said, “The most important thing is that those people (victims) had been held captive for about six months and have been rescued. It was part of the non-kinetic operation of the military. Giving details may subject their families to fresh trauma. So for now, we will wait for the appropriate time for the details to come out.
On his part, Major General Akpor said, “Operations such as this, involves elements of national power. These elements could be social, could be developmental. These elements can be deployed to achieve national objectives. There was a lot of secrecy in the operation to achieve the objective. As to what happened to the terrorists, that will be made known later. But it is a given that anybody that committed such a criminal offence against the nation will definitely, will be fished out and made to face the consequences of that act”.
On other military operations across the country, Madami said troops in the North East Theatre of operation, neutralized 19 terrorists, arrested 42 suspected terrorist logistics suppliers, rescued 3 civilians while 6 suspected Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province informant and collaborators including a foreigner were arrested at different locations.
Furthermore, Madami said troops of Guards Brigade have arrested 64 youths in black attires, armed with 9 locally made guns during a raid on Karshi hill and surrounding villages in Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory following intelligence on plans by hoodlums to disrupt the Independence Day Celebration on October 1, 2022.
In the battle against economic sabotage, he said troops discovered and destroyed a combined total of 74 illegal refining sites, 67 wooden boats, 6 speed boats, 456 storage tanks, 274 cooking ovens and 89 dugout pits. Troops recovered a total of over 3.76million litres of crude oil and 458,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, thereby denying oil thieves a total of over N2.1billion worth of stolen crude oil and products.
Madami said, “Troops of Operation Hadin Kai in the North East conducted ambushes, clearance operations, fighting patrols and cordon and search as well as other operations at different locations in Biu, Damboa, kaga, Kukawa and Gubio Local Government Area all in Borno State.
“During the operations troops arrested 29 Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province logistic suppliers. Item recovered from the Boko Haram include; 50 big bags of dry fish, 2 big sacks of fried meat, 55 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit, 1 big bag of coal, 13 bags of breads, 1 bag of salt, 1 bag of beans, 5 cartons of detergent, 3 packs of batteries, 50 leathers of mosquito coil, 10 mobile phones, 4 vehicles, 1 bicycle and a total sum of N2,479,740.00 as well as other sundry items.
“Equally, troops arrested a suspected Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province ammunition technician at Gorom village in Monguno Local Government Area of Born State, with 300 empty cases of ammo suspected to be used for fabricating 7.62mm specials while 6 suspected Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province informant and collaborators including a foreigner were arrested at different locations.
“Troops also rescued 2 Chibok girls by name, Yana Pogu and Rejoice Senki on serial 19 and 70 of the abducted Chibok girls lists with their children at Bula Davo village in Bama Local Government Area and Kawur village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State with 12 others abductees.
“Consequently, troops within the period recovered 6 AK47 rifles, 14 AK47 magazines, 1 HK gun, 1 G3 rifle, 112 rounds of 7.62mm special, 285 rustled cattle and 8 gallons of Premium Motor Spirit. Troops also neutralized 19 terrorists, arrested 42 suspected terrorist logistics suppliers, rescued 3 civilians while a total of 418 suspected Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists, who claimed to have lost interest in the ideology of Boko Haram Terrorists surrendered to own troops at different locations with their families comprised of 44 adult’s males, 135 adult females and 239 children.
“Furthermore, between 23 and 28 September 2022, the air component of Operation Hadin Kai carried out air interdiction operation at identified terrorist’s enclaves at Kolaram and Bukar Meram both in the Southern Lake Chad region of Borno State. The air strikes resulted in the neutralization of several terrorists with several of their structures destroyed”.
“Troops of the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip conducted operational activities at creeks, waterways, communities, villages, town and cities within Delta, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and Rivers State respectively.
“During the operations troops discovered and destroyed 60 illegal refining sites, 58 wooden boats, 6 speed boats, 384 storage tanks, 223 cooking ovens and 60 dugout pits. Troops also recovered 20 pumping machines, 3 motorcycle, 1 tricycle, 18 vehicles and arrested 34 pipeline vandals while a total of 3.76million litres of crude oil, 458,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, One Thousand (1,000) litres of Premium Motor Spirit and 13,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene were also recovered.
“In a related development, troops of Operation Dakatar Da Barawo discovered and destroyed a total of 14 illegal refineries, 72 metal storage tanks, 9 wooden boats, 29 dugout pits, 51 ovens and 25 reservoirs. Cumulatively, within the period oil thieves were denied a total of Two Billion One Hundred and Forty-Six Million Seven Hundred Ninety-Five Thousand Four Hundred Seventy-Two Naira Forty-Two Kobo (N2,146,795,472.42) in the South-South Region.
“Also, the air component of Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction operations at location observed to be carrying out illegal refining activities at Ahoada in Rivers State. The airstrike destroyed the illegal refining site with several criminals fleeing during the engagement. A similar air interdiction operation was carried out on a location observed to be an active illegal refining site with the boathouse accommodation and facilities destroyed while few criminals fled in disarray.
“Equally, troops conducted a snap road block and arrested a suspected criminal logistics supplier at Amana in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State. Items recovered from the suspect include 20 pairs of black boots, 20 pairs of special force uniforms, 2 mobile phones and the sum of N15,200 only.”
548 total views, 548 views today
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