NBC to Pay Damages over Shutdown, JayFM Insists  

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

Jodaj Global Communications, owners of JayFM, a Jos-based private radio station, on Wednesday withdrew fresh charges it slammed on the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and its Jos Zonal Director, Mr. Igomu Onoja, for shutting down the station.

It however refused to withdraw the writ of originating summons in which it sought 10 reliefs including an order of the court directing the respondents to pay the applicant the sum of N500 million being the general and exemplary damages for loss of income, business opportunities, inability to execute contractual obligations which it entered into with third parties before the shutdown by the respondents.

The NBC and its Jos Zonal Director had last week agreed for an out-of-court settlement before Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court in Jos.

But the uncertainty allegedly created by the respondents afterwards was said to have prompted lawyers to the applicants to press fresh charges on Tuesday against the regulatory agency and the zonal director.

The defendants were to be arraigned, on Wednesday when the radio station’s counsel, Mrs. Hope Olowokere, announced the withdrawal of the fresh charges.

She said: “My lord, we filed a motion exparte yesterday on the 14th May 2019. But we are withdrawing that exparte motion because as we were filling the application, the respondents opened our client’s radio station.

“And my lord, this goes to confirm what we said on the 8th May at the last hearing on the matter that they had approached us for settlement. And my Lord, opening the radio station is on the number eight of our  10 prayers which we sought in the originating summons.

“We believe it is a good step. We therefore want an adjournment to enable us further negotiate on other reliefs sought for in the originating summons.”

The NBC, who was represented in court by its Zonal Director, Mr. Igomu, did not object to the applicant’s submission.

Justice Kurya held that: “In the circumstance, this application is granted as prayed. The applicant’s counsel must play significant role to ensure that the remaining issues are resolved finally in a give and take manner.”

He then adjourned the case to July 1, 2019.