NBC accused the broadcast stations of airing “offensive, unfair and unprofessional content in violation of rules.
Chief Raymond Dokpesi
The National Broadcasting Commission has sent two separate letters to the Daar Communications Group, owner of African Independent Television and Raypower FM over some reports it considered unprofessional.
The two letters, dated May 27, 2019, were signed by the commission’s Director of Broadcast Monitoring, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba.
Idachaba accused the broadcast stations of airing “offensive, unfair and unprofessional” content in violation of rules.
He asked AIT and Raypower to state why they should not be sanctioned.
In one of the letters, Idachaba said, “The continued use of your licence (given in trust to you on behalf of the entire Nigerian people), to embark on attacks and vilification of the regulator shall attract appropriate sanctions going forward.”
He also said the stations had been allegedly inciting the public against the Independent National Electoral Commission, the All Progressives Congress and the government.
One of the letters read, “Monitoring reports on AIT and Raypower FM indicate that a news commentary replete with unfair allegations against the judiciary was aired from Monday, 20th May, 2019.
“This commentary was aired on the two stations during the week. The broadcast is a contravention of the provisions of the code and extant laws regarding discussion of cases pending in the law courts which could be termed as contempt of court.
“Furthermore, the language used was offensive and unfair on the judiciary. The broadcast is viewed as offensive, unfair and unprofessional, as provisions of Section 1.15.1 of The Nigerian Broadcasting Code was violated.”
In another letter, the NBC wondered what the motive behind the documentary: ‘Nigeria Judiciary on Trial: Lessons from Kenya,’ could be.
The broadcast station was said to have accused INEC of refusing to make its server public because it doctored the result of the elections.
NBC gave the stations until May 31 to respond to its queries or risk disciplinary actions.
In another letter dated May 27, NBC complained about the use of content generated on social media on Kakaaki programme on AIT.
“Your station is by this letter advised to be cautious when discussing issues relating to matters pending in the court of law and refrain from use of language inimical to the broadcast profession.
“You are by this letter requested to explain why the full weight of sanction should not be meted against you for this inflammatory broadcast and the fragrant disregard of your editorial responsibility,” the commission added.
Meanwhile, the founder of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, said he would protest against “plots by the All Progressives Congress- led Federal Government” to gag the media and suppress free speech.
A statement from his office in Abuja on Tuesday, said Dokpesi would be staging a “one-man demonstration” to the National Assembly on Thursday, June 6, 2019, after addressing a world press conference at the AIT Complex, Asokoro, Abuja.
The statement said, “We invite all Nigerians and the international community to note this obvious act of brigandage against freedom of speech and association as clearly expressed in our Constitution.
“AIT and Raypower have not violated any code of broadcasting as alleged by the NBC. The NBC and the government in power are not comfortable with the broadcast industry because of its courageous and dogged stance in informing Nigerians on happenings in the country.”