Nigerian singer, rapper, actor, and songwriter, Folarin Falana better known by his stage name Falz has sued the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC over the ban of his song, ‘This is Nigeria.
Three months ago – August 2018 – the lawyer turned singer had threatened to take legal action to seek redress in court, if the body fails to lift the ban of his song.
In a report by Concaholic, according to the court documents filed through Falz’s lawyers, Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun (ACAS-Law), on November, 6, 2018, the President of the sweet Boys Association queried NBC’s claims that the song is laced with vulgar lyrics.
Falz, through his lawyer says, the move ‘is in flagrant breach of the Plaintiff’s right to the freedom of thought, conscience and expression as guaranteed under the Nigerian laws.’
In August 2018, the NBC had sent a letter to JODAJ Global Communications Limited in Jos sanctioning them for playing Falz’s song, “This Is Nigeria” and banning the song from being played on radio, along with other songs.
In the letter sent to JODAJ Global Communications Limited, NBC stated that the reason for banning ‘This Is Nigeria’ is that the lyrics are vulgar and in contravention of the NBC Code.
Here is what Falz told the court about his issue with NBC
The Originating Summons reveals that Falz is seeking, among other things, for:
1. A declaration that the Defendant’s prohibition of the Plaintiff’s song titled “This Is Nigeria” from being aired by the Nigerian media outfits on the pretext that same is laced with vulgar lyrics is in flagrant breach of the Plaintiff’s right to the freedom of thought, conscience and expression as guaranteed under Sections 38 and 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and to that extent, such prohibition is unconstitutional, null and void.
2. An Order of this Honourable Court setting aside and/or vacating the decision of the Defendant as contained in the letter dated 6th August 2018 and lifting the ban or proscription of the use of the Plaintiff’s song titled, “This Is Nigeria” by any and all Nigerian media outfit/organizations.
3. The sum of N100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Naira to the Plaintiff on the footing of aggravated and exemplary damages for the wrongful and unconstitutional acts of the Defendant.
Falz maintains that the song, which seems to be the butt of controversy since its release, is socially conscious music that talks about the current situation of Nigerians in Nigeria.
Following the release of the video for ‘This is Nigeria’ by Falz earlier in June, the Muslim group had issued Falz with a seven day ultimatum to withdraw the song or face legal actions.
The group subsequently withdrew the ultimatum following widespread reactions from the public. News however emerged on Thursday, August 9th, that the NBC have placed a ban on the song and the group has now regained its voice.
In a statement released by the group director Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, August 13, the group admits to having sent a petition to the NBC to place ban on the song.