The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has imposed a fine of N5 million on Channels Television over alleged violation of the broadcasting law or code.
Specifically, NBC said it sanctioned Channels for broadcasting an inciting interview with Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, Labour Party Vice-Presidential candidate.
NBC conveyed this to the Chief Executive Officer of the television station in a letter dated March 27, 2023.
Titled, “Broadcast of an Inciting Interview, A Sanction”, signed by Mr Balarabe Ilelah, the commission’s Director-General, the letter said:” The NBC monitored the broadcast of a live interview of the running mate of the Labour Party Vice presidential candidate, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, by the anchor of Politics Today, Seun Okibaloye, on Wednesday, March 22.
“Dr Baba-Ahmed said it will be unconstitutional to swear in an elected president on May 29, 2023, because of election irregularities.”
According to him, the broadcast was volatile and capable of inciting public disorder and therefore violated some sections of the broadcasting code.
The code includes the section that states that “no broadcast shall encourage, or incite, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.”
Ilelah said under the broadcasting code, broadcasters are required to ensure that no programme contained anything which amounted to subversion of constituted authority.
He recalled that the NBC had engaged Channels Television severally to consider public interest before any programme is broadcast.
“This is to ensure that the country is not plunged 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,” he said.
NBC, however, warned that any further infraction by the television station would attract higher sanctions.
“You are advised to pay within two weeks from the day of receipt of this letter or the penalty will be graduated.”