By Ayodele Oluwafemi
The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has slammed a fine of N5 million on Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos for using its platform “to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.”
NBC accused Nigeria Info of being unprofessional in its conduct of the programme, Morning Cross Fire, on Monday, in which Dr Mailafia Obadiah claimed that some one of Northern Governors is sponsoring the Boko Haram sect.
Obadiah said, “They told us that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same. They have a sophisticated network. During this lockdown their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown.”
A development that led to Department of State Security, DSS, questioning Obadiah for six hours on Wednesday.
Responding to Obadiah claims, NBC argued that his comments were devoid of facts and violation of certain sections of the NBC code.
Part of the statement reads, “Dr. Mailafia Obadia’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;
“18.104.22.168(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 6thedition 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.”