Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Lagos, yesterday, restrained the Africa Independent Television (AIT) from further broadcast of defamatory documentaries on the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).
Tsoho also extended the restraining order to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and any other broadcast station under the control of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), to stop airing similar videos forthwith.
The court granted the interim order after entertaining an ex-parte application brought before him by Osinbajo’s lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday.
The professor of law turned politician had in the suit accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of sponsoring the documentaries against him to cause disaffection in the eyes of the public having adjudged him a threat in the forthcoming general elections.
AIT and NTA had, for weeks running, aired a documentary detailing the “atrocious” past of the APC presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. The station also had a similar documentary on a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, chronicling his series of alleged financial misconduct. Osinbajo insisted that the said documentaries, which allegedly contained untrue information and injurious falsehoods, constitute a personal attack on his person.
He argued that the videos were being aired in violation of his fundamental human rights, especially as it bears on the dignity of the human person, right to privacy and family virtue and right to life and/or livelihood as provided in Sections 33, 34 and 37 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He had, therefore, prayed Tsoho for an order of interim injunction restraining AIT, NTA and any other broadcast stations under the control of BON from further disseminating and broadcasting the damaging videos.
He said, “Unless the respondents are restrained in the manner requested in this application, damages will be grossly inadequate to compensate or redress the unquantifiable, unwarranted and malicious damage to the applicant’s right to the dignity of the human person, right to livelihood and privacy guaranteed and protected under Sections 33, 34 and 37 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
After listening to submission by Falana, Tsoho ordered that NTA and AIT and any other broadcast station under the control of BON should forthwith stop the broadcast of the damaging documentary which the applicant complained of until the determination of the substantive suit.
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