NBC Fines Channels TV N5m Over Interview With Labour Party’s Datti Baba-Ahmed

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Channels Television has been fined Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) for breaking the broadcasting law, while hosting the Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, during a programme, ‘Politics Today’ on Wednesday, 22 March 2023.

The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, slammed the fine in a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the TV station and dated 27 March 2023.

The letter, which was titled: “Broadcast of an Inciting Interview, A Sanction”, was signed by the NBC ’s Director-General, Balarabe Ilelah.

It stated 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, 22 March 2023

“Dr. Baba-Ahmed said it will be unconstitutional to swear in an elected president on 29 May 2023, because of election irregularities.”

Ilelah noted that the broadcast was volatile and capable of inciting public disorder and therefore violated some sections of the broadcasting code.

This, according to him, includes the section that said no broadcast shall encourage, or incite, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.

The NBC’s D-G added that according to the broadcasting code, broadcasters shall ensure that no programme contained anything which amounted to a subversion of constituted authority.

He recalled that NBC had engaged Channels Television severally to consider public interest before any programme is broadcast.

This, he said, was to ensure the country was not plunged into anarchy.

“Consequently, on the following infractions, Channels Television is hereby sanctioned and shall pay a penalty of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) only in the first instance,” he said.

He warned 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 letter concluded.

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