Senate Urges Halt to National Film Board Dissolution Over Legal Concerns

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Abuja, July 9, 2024 (NAN) – The Senate has called on the Federal Government to suspend the dissolution of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), citing legal breaches.

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This decision came after a debate on the motion “Urgent Need to Halt Violation of the NFVCB,” introduced by Sen. Ogoshi Onawo (PDP-Nasarawa) during Tuesday’s plenary session.

Sen. Onawo raised concerns about a directive from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, instructing the Minister of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, to begin the immediate wind-down of the NFVCB. This directive aims to integrate the NFVCB as a department within the ministry without following the legal process required to repeal the law establishing the agency.

Onawo argued that the SGF’s directive violates the National Film and Video Censors Board Act Cap No.40 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as amended). He criticized the directive for attempting to dissolve the NFVCB within three weeks from June 21 without repealing the establishing act.

“The Oronsaye report is a committee report that should not override an Act of Parliament,” Onawo stated. “This issue of abuse of the law, if it goes unchecked, would become a bad precedent going forward. There is a need to check this illegality by insisting that the right procedure for winding down a statutory agency be followed.”

Sen. Solomon Olamilekan (APC-Ogun) and Sen. Sani Musa (APC-Niger) supported the motion, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the rule of law.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio noted that dissolving the NFVCB without proper legal processes would infringe on the Act of Parliament. He stressed that the National Assembly must be involved in the implementation of the Oronsaye report.

“If the President wishes to implement Oronsaye’s report, due process must be followed. This means all the Acts of Parliament in existence must be brought before the parliament for further consideration,” Akpabio said. “You can only begin to implement when the parliament is in agreement with you.”

The Senate resolved to urge the SGF and the Minister of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy to suspend the dissolution of the NFVCB.

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