The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has vowed to continue to summon broadcasters who violate the Broadcasting Code.
Balarabe Ilelah, Director-General of NBC, made this known when members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) visited the commission’s office in Abuja on Monday.
According to Ilelah, the NBC is not out to suppress press freedom but instead to regulate and sanitise the media.
He said: “As leaders of your various reputable and responsible organisation, I want you to tell your members that nobody is above the law.
“All of us must live within the coverage of the law and we must be held accountable. Journalism is a profession that has ethics, we are supposed to operate within the ethics of the profession.
“You came to the commission based on some reports from the social media. As a journalist, I know that news coming from social media are not verified and normally when you get information from anywhere, you need to verify the source of the news.
“But when the news had no source and then you went again and keep on spreading the news, that is not journalism.
“We are going to keep on fighting people that are spreading fake news, the commission will not be scared and will keep on summoning anyone who goes contrary to NBC code.
“NBC is not here to suppress press freedom, but to guide the press. Our duty is to make sure that everybody is given a fair playing ground so that you can say whatever you want to say that is according to the law.”
The NBC is known for its arbitrary query of broadcast media houses in Nigeria over the years.
Just recently, the broadcast media regulator had on 24 August queried Channels Television over some comments made Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, on one of its programmes recently.
According to the letter of query, which was personally signed by Ilelah, the NBC accused Channels of allowing the Benue Governor to make “inciting, divisive and unfair comments” which were not challenged by the anchors.
It was also learnt that the anchors of the programme: Chamberlain Usoh and Kayode Okikiolu, were reportedly summoned by the NBC over the Ortom interview, as well as that conducted with Kunle Olawunmi, a retired Navy Commodore and military intelligence officer, last Tuesday.