The Federal High Court in Lagos has held that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) acted beyond its powers by seeking to regulate advertising in Nigeria, which is contrary to the provision of the Advertising Practitioners Act of 2004.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa held that the NBC lacks the power to prohibit exclusivity on privately acquired intellectual property rights in programme contents of a right-holder. In particular, he stated that acquisition of exclusive rights to broadcast a program is an investment for returns which the right-holder should not be forced to surrender when it is lawfully acquired.
Under the proposed amendment to the 6th edition of the NBC Code, the NBC acted ultra vires by seeking to retroactively compel right holders of programme content to compulsorily share rights acquired under an existing licence and through a partnership and/or joint venture. The court further set aside this proposed amendment to the NBC Code for being ultra vires, null and void and restrained the NBC from implementing it.