The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development-PTCIJ have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, asking the court to “declare illegal the gag order stopping journalists and broadcast stations from reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims, as the order violates media freedom, and Nigerians’ freedom of expression and access to information.”
Joined in the suit as Defendant is the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The suit followed the directive by the NBC asking journalists, television and radio stations in Nigeria to stop “glamourizing and giving too many details on the nefarious activities of terrorists and kidnappers” during their daily newspaper reviews.
In the suit, SERAP and PTCIJ are seeking “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Lai Muhammed or any other persons from imposing fines or other sanctions on broadcast stations for carrying out their constitutional duties of reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims during daily newspaper reviews.
In the suit, SERAP and PTCIJ are seeking “an order to compel and direct the NBC and Lai Muhammed to withdraw the directive, as the directive is unlawful and inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 as amended, and the country’s international human rights obligations.
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