February 23, 2023

National Media Complaints Commission takes off with 9-man board


The Nigerian Press  Organisation, NPO, has taken a bold step to kickstart the new Ombudsman mechanism with the announcement of a nine-man board of the National Media Complaints Commission, NMCC, otherwise known as the National Ombudsman. 

The commission, according to the President, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf, is a major step by the industry  to strengthen public confidence in the media through prompt resolution of issues bordering on ethical breaches in media content. 

The NPO, comprising the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, mid-wifed the process with other strategic media players and the civil society, in particular the MacArthur Foundation. 

The commission members, drawn from the media, bar, the academia, and civil society are Mr. Emeka Izeze, former Managing Director, Guardian Newspapers (Chairman); Mr. A. B Mahmoud, SAN; former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, and a member of the Body of Benchers; Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna; and Deputy Vice Chancellor, (Academic) Paul University, Abia State; Dr. Hussain Abdu.

Others include Development & Humanitarian Specialist and Country Director, Care International (Nigeria) ; Mr. Lanre Idowu; Editor-in-Chief, Diamond Publications Ltd. and Founder, Diamond  Awards For Media Excellence, DAME; Mr. Edetaen Ojo; Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda, MRA, Mrs. Dupe Ajayi-Gbadebo; and a Journalist, Lawyer and Arbitrator ; Mrs. Eugenia Abu, Broadcaster, Author and Columnist, and  Managing Partner/CEO, Eugenia Abu Media.

Also on the board is the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information.

The commission will serve as an independent forum for resolving complaints about the press quickly, fairly, and free of charge; maintain high standards of Nigerian journalism and journalistic ethics; and defend the freedom of the press and the rights of the people to know. Prior to the announcement, each media house had been directed to institute at the newspaper level, the local Ombudsman. 

The National Ombudsman will serve as an appellate body for the local Ombudsman as well as a court of first instance.