Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has sued the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; the Federal Government, and the National Broadcasting Commission for arbitrarily amending the Broadcast Code and hiking the fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5m.
The NBC had threatened that any TV or radio station that allows elected officials to be insulted on its platform would be fined N5m or shut down.
Effiong in his supporting affidavit told the court that the actions of the NBC, the Minister of Information and the Federal Government had gravely affected his freedom of expression and that of broadcast stations, broadcasters and other Nigerian citizens who also appear as guests on radio and television stations to express critical views about the government and public officeholders.
The lawyer argued that “abusing” or “insulting” the government cannot be criminalised in a democracy.
The lawyer also asked the court to nullify and set aside the penalty of fines or other penalties imposed on broadcast stations by the NBC.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.