Court bars NBC from imposing fines on broadcast stations

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has been banned from imposing fines on broadcast stations by a federal high court sitting in Abuja.

James Omotosho, the presiding judge, in a judgment on Wednesday held that the NBC does not have judicial powers to impose penalties.

The judge also set aside fines imposed on 45 broadcast stations by NBC.

Omotosho said the commission acted as the complainant, court, and judge when it acted on the alleged infractions.

He added that the Nigeria broadcasting code, which empowers the commission, cannot confer judicial powers on NBC to impose criminal sanctions or penalties.

According to him, the commission is not the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) which has the power to conduct a criminal investigation, adding that NBC’s action is “against the doctrine of separation of powers”.