IPOB interview: NBC fines Channels TV, Inspiration FM N5m each

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The National Broadcasting Commission on Thursday slammed a fine of N5million each onChannels TV and Inspiration FM Lagos.

The commission’s acting Director-General, Armstrong Idachaba, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.

Idachaba said the broadcast stations were fined for infractions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

In arriving at the fine, he said the NBC reviewed the appeals and apologies from both stations and decided to set aside the option of suspension of licence.

He recalled that the Commission had on April 26, 2021 sent a letter to Channels TV stating the station’a infractions of the code in respect to its broadcast of “Politics Today”  April 25.

He said the station violated Sections 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

Idachaba also explained that Inspiration FM had in its World Report of May 2 featured the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra making secessionist claims in breach of 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Code.

He said “Section 3.11.1(b), the Broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

“Section 5.4.3, in reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.”

Idachaba said the violations of the identified sections, being a `Class A’ offence, attracts sanctions in section 15.2.1 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides the following:

“Immediate order of suspension of broadcast services; suspension of licence and immediate shut down and seal up of transmitter, revocation of licence, seizure and forfeiture or transmitting equipment

“(In) 15.5.1: the following penalties shall apply in respect of a breach committed by the broadcaster: light, N200,000 to N500,000; heavy, N500,000 to N4,999,000; severe, N5,000,000.”

He added, “Following the announcements of liability to the sanctions stated in 15.1.1 and 15.1.2 both stations have accepted culpability for the infractions and earlier offered unreserved apologies for the breaches.

“The NBC has reviewed the appeals and apologies from both stations, and has decided to set aside the option of suspension of licence.

“The Commission has, however, directed both stations to pay N5 million penalty each to serve as deterrent.”

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