NFVCB States Position on Case with ‘Marketers’
The Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, has refuted claims that a Federal High Court in Enugu has issued a restraining order on it in a matter involving the Movie Makers and Marketers Association.
A statement made available to NFC by the Special Assistant to the Director General of the Censors Board, Mr. Obiora Chukwumba, stated that “Nothing can be farther from the truth. And it fits perfectly into the lying patterns and blackmails adopted by the group in question to befuddle the issues and hoodwink members of the public”.
Admitting that His Lordship, P.F. Olayiwola actually sat on Thursday, July 31, 2008, Chukwumba explained that the applications could not be taken and the matter was therefore adjourned to October.
“Nevertheless, following complaints by counsel to the “marketers” the judge had pleaded that both parties should maintain the status quo.
“Nowhere in the entire proceedings of the court in Enugu was any pronouncement made that suggested injunction. Are these people so illiterate as not to know that the justice process in Nigeria and indeed anywhere for that matter cannot make an injunction without taking the originating applications?”
Chukwumba also added that “the statutory mandate of the Board is clear and unambiguous. Captured in Section 25 (1) of CAP 140, Laws of the Federation 1999, it states that as from the commencement of this Act, no person shall carry on the business of distributing or exhibiting a film or video work, unless he is a holder of license granted by the Board under this Act.”
“The position of the Board, as an agency of government driven by the passion for the rule of law is to consider any one doing business in film and video works who does not have a license granted by the Board as an outlaw who must be apprehended and tried under the criminal code of Nigeria's statute books. Of course this is without prejudice to any civil issues raised before the law by any individual or group. That clearly, in respect of the pronouncement of His Lordship, the judge of the Federal High Court, in Enugu , is for us what is the status quo that must be maintained is”, Chukwumba said.
He supported his position with a signed statement dated 31st July from the judge where he had said “parties should maintain status quo until the applications are taken”.