• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigerian press promises to challenge Appeal Court judgment on press council decree

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The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) has said it will appeal to Supreme Court against the recent Court of Appeal judgment on the Nigeria Press Council decree.

The NPO comprises the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).

The NPO had since 1999 challenged the constitutionality of the military-created Press Council Decree. The Appeal Court had in December 4, 2015, upturned the Federal High Court, Lagos, judgment of February 25, 2010, which declared the Press Council law as ‘unconstitutional, null and void’

Justice L. Liman of the Federal High Court Lagos had affirmed in his judgment that the Press Council law was ‘unconstitutional, null and void,’ but that judgment was upturned at the Court of Appeal on December 4, 2015, by Justice Chinwe Eugenia who held that the Act ‘is a necessary justifiable law in a democratic judgment.’

But in a statement after its expanded stakeholders meeting, the NPO resolved not to nominate members into the board of the present Press Council until the final determination of the case at the Supreme Court.

In a statement jointly signed by Nduka Obaigbena, the president of both NPAN and NPO; Victoria Ibanga, general secretary, Nigerian Guild of Editors, and Waheed Odusile, president, NUJ, the body agreed to work with the National Assembly to get a suitable self-regulatory Press Council law for professionals in Nigeria.

It also resolved to “encourage the present administration to come on board with the NPO to get an acceptable self-regulatory Nigeria Press Council law at the National Assembly. That the Executive, in the spirit of democracy should reject the NPC decree as it was a product of the military regime and not in tandem with democracy norms and recent technological developments.”