The Supreme Court has declared that the powers granted the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) under its enabling Act did not extend to the regulation of the activities of retailers of film, music and video products.

In a unanimous judgment of a five-man bench, the apex court held on Friday that the NFVCB has no powers to compel film, music and video retailers to register with it before operating.

Justice Kayode Ariwoola, in a lead judgment, read by Justice Paul Galinje, said the nation’s regulator of the film and movie sector was without the powers to control the operations of the retailers of such products, because neither do they own viewing centers nor charge fees for the viewing of such video, film or musical products.

The apex court said it would require the amendment of the NFVCB Act to address the apprehension of the board and the problems it sought to address by seeking to control the activities of the retailers of film, video and music products.

The Supreme Court judgment was on an appeal marked: SC/395/2012 filed by the NFVCB against the 2012 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Akure, which upheld the 2004 judgment of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, given in favour of the retailers.

NFVCB had raided some retailers of film, video and music products in Osogbo, Osun State, claiming they were operating illegally having not registered with the board.

The retailers, led by Akinola Adegboyega and two others, approached the Federal High Court to challenge NFVCB’s claim.

The Federal High Court held in their favour, a decision the NFVCB appealed at the Court of Appeal, Akure.

The Appeal Court dismissed the appeal for being unmeritorious and upheld the decision of the Federal High Court.

The NFVCB further appealed to the Supreme Court, an appeal which the apex court decided on Friday against the appellant.

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