Jos — Jodaj Global Communications, owners of a Jos, Plateau State-based private radio station, Jay FM, has sued the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and its Zonal Director, Igomu Onoja, for shutting down the outfit.
The owners are asking the court to compel the NBC to re-open the radio station and pay damages incurred, as a result of the closure amounting to N500 million.
Managing Director of the radio station, Clinton Garuba disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Jos.
According to him, "the case which was filed before the Federal High Court in Jos has the NBC and its Zonal Director as first and second respondents.
"The NBC had in a letter signed by Onoja, shut down the operation of Jay FM on March 1, 2019 alleging that the station's continued broadcast may lead to break down of law and order."
Garuba said the management of the radio outfit was invited to a meeting at the National Headquarters of the NBC in Abuja on Monday, March 18, 2019 to discuss the circumstances surrounding the shutdown of the station and the way forward.
He explained that the meeting, which was aimed at an amicable resolution and at the end, the commission made a commitment to re-open the station between March 18 and March 23, 2019.
"However, information available to us indicates that powers that be in the presidency in collaboration with Plateau State insisted that Jay FM Jos should remain closed.
"While it is never our intention, style, or preoccupation to be confrontational with our regulators, we have arrived at a crossroad, where we are constrained to seek legal redress in a court of law, which is the final and only hope of the downtrodden and persecuted masses of our country.
We are doing this in expectation that we would find the justice, which NBC and its manipulators had denied us in the court of law," he stated.
Among the reliefs sought in court by counsel to the applicant, H. O. Olowokere and four others were contained in a writ of summons obtained by journalists in Jos yesterday.
The applicant is seeking a declaration that in issuing the order of a shutdown against its operations and that the respondents' action as accuser, prosecutor and judge is a violation of the plaintiff's right to fair hearing.
The outfit is also seeking an order directing the respondents to pay the applicant N500 million being the general and exemplary damages for loss of income, business opportunities and inability to execute contractual obligations entered into with third parties, before the closure, among other reliefs.