The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed Channels TV and Inspiration FM Lagos to pay a fine N5 million each for infractions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, the Acting Director-General of the commission, announced this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Prof. Idachaba explained that NBC on Monday, April 26, served Channels TV a letter indicating the station’s culpability and liability for infractions of the Code in respect to its broadcast of “Politics Today” of Sunday, April 25.
The acting D-G stated that the station violated Sections 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
Similarly, Idachaba said that on May 2, in its World Report, Inspiration FM Lagos aired broadcast of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) making secessionist claims in breach of 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Code.
He said that the stations broadcast secessionist, divisive, violent and inflammatory comments.
According to him, Sections 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the code state the following:
“Section 3.11.1(b), the Broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign
We’ll fight to end this illegality
Reacting to the fines by the NBC, The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) called on Nigeria’s Minister of Information and National Broadcasting Commission to immediately rescind the illegal and stifling fines imposed on Channels TV and Inspiration FM [N5m each] for alleged breach of a flawed Broadcasting Code.
According to SERAP, this is yet another example of Nigerian authorities using the country’s growing list of restrictive legislation and codes to clampdown on independent media.
It’s said Media freedom and media plurality are a central part of the effective exercise of freedom of expression.
“Alhaji Lai Mohammed and NBC should withdraw the fines, and uphold Nigeria’s constitutional and international obligations to respect the right to freedom of expression,” the body concluded.