The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has slammed a N5 million fine on a radio station, Nigeria Info, for a recent comment made by Obadiah Mailafia, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This was made known in a statement signed by the NBC management on Thursday.
The fine was slammed on the radio station after Mailafia had while during one of the station’s programmes, Morning CrossFire, alleged that repentant bandits told him that one of the governors in northern Nigeria is the commander of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
Explaining the reason for the sanction, the NBC said Nigeria Info had engaged in an “unprofessional conduct” by allowing its guest, the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 general elections, to make such remarks.
The regulator insisted that the statement made by Mailafia was unverified and could lead to inciting a section of the public.
It added that the sanction meted out to the radio station is stipulated in the amendment of the sixth edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
The statement read: “The National Broadcasting Commission has noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am.
“The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr. Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.
“Dr. Mailafia Obadiah’s comments on the “Southern Kaduna Crisis”, were devoid of facts and by broadcasting same to the public, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, is in violation of the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code:
“3.1.1. No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference to any person or organization, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;
“3.1.2. Broadcasting shall promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited;
“3.3.1 (a). The broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate;
“220.127.116.11(b). The Broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public
interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance;
“3.11.1(a). The broadcaster shall ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast;
“3.11.1(b). No programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state;
“5.4.1(f). The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Consequent on these provisions and in line with the amendment of the 6th edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos, has been fined the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira), only.
“This is expected to serve as a deterrent to all other broadcast stations in Nigeria who are quick to provide platform for subversive rhetoric and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.
“The Commission wishes to put it on record that it will not hesitate to suspend the Broadcast Licence of broadcast stations that continue to breach the Code.
“Stations are, by this statement, admonished to desist forthwith, from airing unwholesome content, or be ready to face appropriate sanctions.”