By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, NBC has handed down a N5 million fine on Lagos based radio station, Nigeria Info 99.3Fm, over what it called professional misconduct.
In a press statement made available on Thursday, the Commission said the sanction was Sequel to violation of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code by the broadcast station in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am in which it featured a former CBN Deputy Governor, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia.
It accused the station of providing its platform for the guest to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.
The Commission insisted that the action of the radio station was in total violation of the newly amended NBC Code and directed it to pay the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) to serve a deterrent to other stations.
The statement reads in parts: ”The National Broadcasting Commission has noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am. The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr. Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.
”The Commission, again, wishes to reiterate that Broadcasters hold Licenses in trust for the people. Therefore, no Broadcast Station should be used, to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people.
”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; 188.8.131.52(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 and 5.4.1(f) which says 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.
”The Commission wishes to put it on record that it will not hesitate to suspend the Broadcast Licence of broadcast stations that continue to breach the Code.
”Stations are, by this statement, admonished to desist forthwith, from airing unwholesome content, or be ready to face appropriate sanctions.”