The ECOWAS Court of Justice has ordered the government of Nigeria to amend some Sections of the Nigerian Press Council Act of 1992 to align with international best practices that promote free, pluralistic, and professional journalism.
Two Nigerian journalists had sued the government for violating their right to freedom of expression by imposing restrictive criteria for practising journalism.
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The ECOWAS Court of Justice ruled in their favour and ordered the government to amend the contested sections of the Act.
In its judgement delivered by Hon Justice Dupe Atoki, Judge Rapporteur, the Court declared that Sections 19 (1)(a), 27 and 37 of the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) Act failed to recognize public interest media including rights of online and citizen journalists thereby violating Article 9 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), and Article 8 (1) and 10 (2) of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa.