The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has said Channels Television has apologised for allegedly breaching the broadcast code by airing an interview with a member of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Franca Aiyetan, NBC Director of Public Affairs, said this in an interview on Tuesday.
The NBC had on Monday directed the suspension of Politics Today, a programme on the station, following a live interview with Emma Powerful, the spokesperson for the secessionist IPOB and ordered the station to pay a fine of N5 million.
The sanction, however, drew the ire of many Nigerians, who criticised the broadcast media regulator.
But speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Aiyetan said the letter the commission sent to the TV station was an “instrument to check its excesses”, adding that the station has admitted its offence.
She was, however, silent on whether the fine had been paid.
She said: “The station has accordingly apologised.
“It is a station that won an award, but we say in this particular situation, ‘you did not handle it professionally’. It is possible to breach the public peace and that was what the letter conveyed to Channels TV, to which the TV station has responded, saying ‘we apologise, we did wrong’.
“When the media started asking me about Channels TV, I had to go and find out what letter we had issued, because if it is a press release or something that is for public consumption, it will come to the public affairs department of NBC, and I will be able to communicate to the media about it. But this letter that went to Channels TV is our way of regulating the broadcasting industry.
“It is called a breach letter to the station to say ‘in this particular programme, you did not act professionally; you did not do it in line with the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code’.
“Like the letter sent to the station by the commission, its offence was that it interviewed someone of a proscribed organisation. The NBC now said because of that, this breach attracts a shutdown or a fine of N5 million. But the pay line was that they were advised to discontinue the programme.”