The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), an umbrella body comprising the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has kicked against the ongoing amendment to the Nigerian Press Council Act, 2004, by the House of Representatives.
While stating its position on the amendment Bill before the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, representatives of the NPO led by the senior vice president, LEADERSHIP Media Group, Mr Azubuike Ishiekwene, noted that most of the clauses being considered in the amendment were subject of litigation in a case currently before the Supreme Court.
The NPO, therefore, described the proposed amendment as prejudicial, urging the Green Chamber to step
down the amendment pending the determination of the case by the apex court.
According to Ishiekwene, stakeholders in the media canvassed the same position before the Senate in 2018, when the 8th Senate proposed similar amendments.
“There is a pending matter between the NPAN and some parties involved in this Bill that is being amended, and as stewards of the law, am sure you are constrained, just as I am to make any further conversation on this matter because it is a matter pending at the Supreme Court.
“It is a matter that has been pending since 1999. When it came up the last time in 2010, 17 out of the 39 clauses that you are considering were ruled unconstitutional by the court at that time. The federal government has appealed the judgment, we won the appeal and the federal government has appealed to the Supreme Court,” Ishiekwene told the lawmakers.