NBC Sanctions Channels TV for Interview with LP VP Candidate

NBC Sanctions Channels TV for Interview with LP VP Candidate

Channels Television has been fined N5 million by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for violating broadcasting laws during a program with Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate. This decision came shortly after Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the 2023 presidential election, filed a petition against the station over its interview with the LP Vice Presidential candidate. The NBC sent a letter, dated March 27 and signed by the commission’s Director-General, Balarabe Ilelah, to the Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, which was obtained by TRIBUNE ONLINE on Friday, explaining the station’s violation of its code of conduct.

The letter titled “Broadcast of an Inciting Interview, A Sanction” highlighted the interview of Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed by the anchor of Politics Today, Seun Okibaloye, which aired live on Wednesday, March 22. The NBC found the section where Dr Baba-Ahmed claimed that it would be unconstitutional to swear in an elected president on May 29, 2023, due to election irregularities, to be in violation of its code of conduct. The broadcasting code prohibits any program that encourages or incites, is repugnant to public feelings, contains offensive references to any person or organization (alive or dead), or is generally disrespectful to human dignity.

Ilelah further stated that broadcasters are expected to ensure that no program contains anything that amounts to the subversion of constituted authority. The NBC had previously engaged with Channels Television on several occasions to ensure that public interest was considered before any program was aired, in order to prevent the country from falling into chaos.

Consequently, Channels Television has been sanctioned and is required to pay a penalty of N5,000,000 (five million naira) only for the first infraction. Further infractions by the station would attract higher penalties. The NBC Director-General advised the station to make the payment within two weeks of receipt of the letter, or the penalty would be graduated accordingly.

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