NBC fines Channels TV N5 million for inciting broadcast with Labour Party VP candidate
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined Channels Television N5 million for violating the broadcasting law in a programme featuring Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, the Vice Presidential candidate for the Labour Party (LP).
In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the television station and dated March 27, the commission’s Director-General, Balarabe Ilelah, outlined the violation and the subsequent penalty. The letter was titled “Broadcast of an Inciting Interview, A Sanction.”
According to the letter, the NBC monitored a live interview of Dr Baba-Ahmed by the anchor of Politics Today, Seun Okibaloye, on Wednesday, March 22. During the interview, Dr Baba-Ahmed stated that it would be unconstitutional to swear in an elected president on May 29, 2023, due to election irregularities.
Ilelah said that the broadcast was volatile and capable of inciting public disorder, and as such, it violated certain sections of the broadcasting code. These sections include the requirement that no broadcast shall encourage or incite, be repugnant to public feelings, or contain offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead, or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.
According to the broadcasting code, broadcasters must ensure that no programme contains anything that amounts to subversion of constituted authority.
Ilelah noted that the NBC had engaged with Channels Television on several occasions to emphasize the importance of considering public interest before broadcasting any programme. This, he stated, was to ensure that the country did not descend into anarchy.
“Consequently, on the following infractions, Channels Television is hereby sanctioned and shall pay a penalty of N5,000,000 (five million naira) only in the first instance,” Ilelah wrote. He also warned that any further infraction by the television station would attract higher sanctions.
Channels Television has been given two weeks from the receipt of the letter to pay the penalty, failing which the penalty will be graduated.