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Nigerian court orders Multichoice to sublicense channels

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Poultry farmer in court for noxious trade in residential area - Access AgricThe Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt has ordered South African company, MultiChoice to sublicense some of its channels to Metro Digital.

Metro Digital sued the operators of DStv and Gotv in Nigeria, relying on the code of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The NBC and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture were co-defendants.

The applicant took MultiChoice to court in 2021 after the latter rejected a sublicense license.

Metro Digital initially lost the suit at the High Court, but filed an appeal against it.

On Wednesday, Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe, ordered MultiChoice to sublicense the channels within 21 days.

The judge said the NBC violated its statutory duties for refusing to issue directives to the complaints by Metro Digital.

Justice Adegbehingbe faulted the High Court for striking out the name of the third respondent.

“The appeal is highly successful and the judgment of lower court dismissing the entirety of the appellant is hereby set aside”, he said.

The judge issued an order compelling the second respondent to heed directives of the appellant’s complaints against the first respondent pursuant to the Nigerian Broadcasting Code (6th edition) as amended.

Justice Adegbehingbe directed the NBC to “initiate the process for the determination of the dispute between the appellant and the first respondent within 21days from the date of this judgment under the auspices of the NBC Act, 6th edition of the NBC Code and its addendum”.

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