Nigeria: Radio Station Closure - J-FM, NBC Agree to Settle Out of Court

The management of a Jos-based radio station, J-FM, and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Wednesday agreed to settle out of court a suit over an alleged unlawful closure of the station by the commission.

J-FM, through its counsel, H.Olowokere, sued the commission before Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court, Jos, demanding the immediate reopening of the station.

The management of the radio station had described the closure by NBC on March 1 as "unlawful, null and void," since there was no cause for such an action.

The station in the suit asked the court for an order of immediate reopening of the station and payment of N500 million to it as general damages.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that when the case came up for hearing before the court, counsel to J-FM told the judge that there was an ongoing discussion between the station and NBC to settle the matter out of court.

"My Lord, the matter today is slated for hearing, but we wish to bring to the notice of this honourable court that we, the parties in this case, have started discussions on how to settle the matter out of court.

"It's our belief and expectation that we shall reach an agreement on the matter as we discuss.

"In the light of this, we wish to ask for an adjournment to enable us to complete our discussions and report back to the court our terms of the agreement.

"But in the event we could not agree, we shall continue with the hearing of the matter before your Lordship, " she pleaded

Ogomu Onoja, NBC Jos Zonal Director, who represented the commission, which did not send a counsel to represent it in court, confirmed the submissions made by Olowokere.

"My Lord, what the counsel said is the true position of things in this matter.

"It's our candid belief that we shall be able to reach an accord and report back to your Lordship at the next adjourned date, " Onoja stated.

Justice Kurya adjourned the case until May 15 for the report of terms of settlement or hearing of the case. (NAN)

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