Channels Television has been fined N5 million by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for violating broadcasting regulations during an interview with the Vice-Presidential candidate of Labour party, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
In a letter titled “Broadcast of an Inciting Interview, A Sanction” and signed by Balarabe Ilelah, the commission’s Director-General, the fine was communicated to the Chief Executive Officer of the television station.
It read in part
‘’The NBC monitored the broadcast of a live interview of the running mate of the Labour Party Vice presidential candidate, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, by the anchor of Politics Today, Seun Okibaloye, on Wednesday, March 22. Dr Baba-Ahmed said it will be unconstitutional to swear in an elected president on May 29, 2023, because of election irregularities,” Ilelah said in the letter.
The NBC chairman cited the interview as volatile and capable of inciting public disorder, thereby violating sections of the broadcasting code. These sections include the prohibition of broadcasts that encourage or incite public disorder, contain offensive references to any person or organization, or are generally disrespectful to human dignity.
Ilelah further noted that the broadcasting code stipulates that broadcasters should ensure that no program contains anything that subverts constituted authority.
“Consequently, on the following infractions, Channels Television is hereby sanctioned and shall pay a penalty of N5,000,000 (five million naira) only in the first instance” he said
He added that any further infraction by the television station would attract higher sanctions.
“You are advised to pay within two weeks from the day of receipt of this letter or the penalty will be graduated,” the NBC Director-General said
The commission’s decision to impose the fine on Channels Television followed a petition by the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, regarding the interview. Further details can be found here.