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Afri Radio court application in limbo

Afri Radio court application in limbo

On the 16th of April 2013 Counsels for Africa Media Ltd, Yada Williams Esq. filed an application in the High Court, praying for the following orders.

  1. The grant of an order of certiorari directed to the Independent Media Commission (IMC) removing the decision to suspend the license of the plaintiff to operate a radio station to the High Court for the same to be quashed and the plaintiff’s right to operate its radio station and all rights incidental thereto to be restored on the grounds set out in the plaintiffs statement of its case.
  2. That the court orders that the Defendant gives instructions to the National Telecommunications Commissions to restore the frequency to enable the plaintiff operate its Radio Station, Afri Radio.
  3. Any other order or orders as the court may deem fit and just.

Hon. Justice A.H Charm yesterday dismissed the application following a preliminary objection that was raised by L.M Farmah Esq on the 8th of May 2013 when Counsel for Afri Radio, Yada Williams was about to move his motion.

The contention of Mr. Famah was that Mr. Williams had failed to invoke the correct jurisdiction of the court that would enable it hear and determine the application before it. He said the only way aggrieved parties to IMC decisions can seek redress is by way of an appeal to the High Court.

He said Counsel for Afri Radio has rather come by way seeking the supervisory Jurisdiction of the Court and therefore in violation of Section 22 of the Independent Media Commissions Act 2000. He submitted that general laws such as the constitution have to give way to specific laws that deal with specific issues.

However, Mr. Williams submitted that the matter was properly before the Court. It was his contentions that the Constitution which is the highest law of the Land gives the High Court a Supervisory Jurisdiction over all inferior and traditional courts.

He further argued that the reason why they came by way of Section 134 of the Constitution and not by way of Appeal as provided under Section 22 of the Act is because the ‘due process’ that was advised by the Office of the Attorney General was not followed and that there is a flagrant violation of the principle of natural justice by the I.M.C.

He added that there were no grounds under which they could appeal as there was no correspondence between the parties and no recorded decision on which they could appeal on.

In passing his ruling as to whether the application should be heard, Hon. Justice A.H Charm stated amongst other things thus:

 The ‘due process’ that was not followed as alleged by Mr. Williams and which is provided for in subsection2 and 3 of section 21 of the I.M.C Act, could in addition to any other grounds be grounds for appeal to the High Court in its Appellate Jurisdiction.

 “In the instant case, I hold that the appropriate procedure in invoking the jurisdiction of the court has not been adopted. In the circumstance, this application is dismissed. No order as to costs.”

BY By Ndikum Ransome

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