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Broadcast Pirate Bags 6 months Jail Term in Yenagoa

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The Federal High Court 2, Yenagoa has convicted Mr. Innocent Onojeta of a Five-count charge of Broadcast Piracy bordering on unauthorised broadcast of contents such as English Premier League (The EPL, Lialiga, UEFA) belonging to multi-choice DSTV Nigeria Ltd.

The Judgement delivered by Honourable Justice John Inyang Okoro, on October 18, 2018 following the plea of guilt entered by the accused person on October 15, 2018 in the Charge FHC/YNG/7C/2018  instituted by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

The defendant, Mr Onojeta was found guilty as charge in view of his plea, the facts as reviewed and evidence before the Judge. The convict is to pay fine for all the count-charge and serve a prison term of six (6) for all offence committed contrary to and punishable under section (1) (a) (c) (2) (a) of the Copyright Act, CAP C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

A criminal F form from the Federal High Court reveals that the accused upon conviction was sentenced to Six (6) months imprisonment or option of fine of N1,000 each on count 1 and 2 and N100 each on count 3,4 and 5 with effect from October 18, 2018.

However, following the accused default in paying one of the fines the Judge ordered the Superintendent of Okaka Police division to imprison and whip  the accused ” you are hereby commanded to take the defendant  and imprison him and cause him to be whipped in accordance with this warrant and the law” he directed.

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Court Bars NBC from Censoring Political Broadcast

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Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has barred the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) from censorship of political programmes by broadcasting stations across the country.

 

The court also ordered the NBC to retract circular demanding 24 hrs notification for live broadcast.

 

The ECOWAS Court’s verdict which was delivered Tuesday in Abuja came more than three years after a Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner, Mr Festus Oguche, and Crownfield Solicitors, dragged the NBC before the community court, challenging what the NBC called “Additional Regulations for Live Political Broadcast.”

 

The said regulation dated May 30, 2014, was contained in a letter to all broadcasting stations across the country directing that it must be notified by broadcasting stations in writing, at least 24 hours, before a live transmission of a political programme.

 

Delivering judgment in the matter, the 3-man panel led by the ECOWAS Court of Justice President, Justices Edward Asante, upheld all seven points’ declarations sought by the plaintiff.

 

The plaintiff in the suit had sought for “an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the Federal government, its agencies, servants and proxies from further doing anything, either by way of official policy, directive, instruction and/or investigation that will in anyway impede against the existence and operations of free press in a democratic society, which is guaranteed as fundamental freedom.

 

The court also held that the action of the defendant in directing that all live political broadcasts by broadcasting stations in Nigeria be referred to it was tantamount to censorship of free press and it was contrary to the fundamental freedom enshrined and guaranteed under African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

 

Other declarations upheld by the Court include that the NBC’s directive was against the provisions of the fundamental freedom enshrined and guaranteed under Sections 22 and 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

The Court reportedly declared that it was reckless by National Broadcasting Commission to have issued such instruction to broadcasting stations and subsequently ordered that the NBC make a retraction of the May 2014 directive in a letter to all the broadcasting stations in the country and publish same in national newspapers.

 

Other Justices in the panel are Dupe Atoki and Januaria Moreira Costa.

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NBC Warns Sports Presenters against Violating Codes

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Olajumoke Coker, zonal director at National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has said that the commission was ready to sanction sports presenters who violated its codes through unprofessional style of presentation.

 

She disclosed this in Ibadan during a seminar organised by the Oyo State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).

 

Coker presented at the seminar a paper titled “Hyping, Praise-singing, Sports Rights and Acquisition’’.

 

She said the hyping of sport events, enthusiasts or sponsors was one big issue the commission had been dealing with.

 

The NBC official adding that a lot of sports presenters, especially the Yoruba sports presenters, were guilty of it.

 

“Hype is when a presenter promotes products or services of commercial value in the course of presentation.

 

This is a violation of Section 7.0.15 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. “NBC is not against giving end-credits to sponsors, but it should be done at the end of the programme in moderation and without giving details or promoting their products or services.

 

“When you start listing 20 names during your presentation, it makes your programme lack straight-dealing,” she said.

 

Coker said many stations have received from the commission letters of warning, as well as letters recommending payment of fines and for unprofessional style of presentation.

 

The official said the commission has had cause to even go as far as suspending some broadcasters from the air waves, saying the commission monitors round the clock.

 

She said any sports presenter who violated the provisions of the commission’s broadcasting code would be sanctioned accordingly.

 

“Section 3.1.3 of the Nigeria Broadcasting code clearly prohibits praise singing of sponsors. “It states that broadcasters shall recognise expression as an agent of the society. Therefore, he shall not use his medium for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of his own, proprietor, relatives, friends or supporters,” she said.

 

Coker urged sports presenters to be more professional in their presentation, reminding them that the commission monitors for compliance round the clock.

 

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StarTimes Dangles 50% End-of-Year Discount on Subscribers

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StarTimes, pay TV Company, has announced a special 50% discount off subscription rates this festive season for its subscribers.

 

According to the company in a statement, the offer kicked off December 1 and would last until January 31, 2019.

 

During this period, subscribers who renew their subscription for two months will automatically get 50% discount on their 2nd month subscription.

 

Commenting on the initiative, Kunmi Balogun, public relations manager, StarTimes Nigeria, noted that the offer is to relieve its subscribers who have to incur many expenses during the festive period.

 

He said, “The Christmas season often come with a lot of expenses hence our reason to make it a bit more bearable by offering 50% discount when you pay for 2 months.

 

‘‘When subscribers pay for two months on any bouquet, between December 1st and January 31st, they enjoy 50% discount on the second month plus instant gifts at any StarTimes business hall nationwide.”

 

He reaffirmed that during this period, blockbuster Nollywood movies and those in movies would be aired by its self-owned Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba channels to provide unlimited entertainment to subscribers.

 

 

 

 

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