The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC has suspended Channels Television with a fine of N5 million for breaching the broadcast code.
The commission said it took the decision following a live interview the station had with the spokesperson for the Indigenous People of Biafra, Emma Powerful.
The acting Director-General of NCC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, took the decision in a letter to the Managing Director of Channels TV titled, ‘Inciting Comments By Proscribed Group: Politics Today’.
According to him, the IPOB leader made several secessionist and inciting declarations on air without caution or reprimand by Channels TV.
Idachaba said, “He also made derogatory, false or misleading statements about the Nigerian Army. This is reprehensible, especially that IPOB remains a proscribed organization as pronounced by the courts of the land. This much Channels TV ought to know and respect.”
According to him, the programme was clearly in violation of the provisions of Section 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.
He cited Section 3.11.1(b) which provided that “The Broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
The NBC DG also referred to Section 5.4.3 which provided that, “In reporting conflict situations, the Broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.”
Idachaba said, “For obviously breaching the above provisions of the law, your station remains liable to sanctions provided in Section 15 of the code which prescribes, among others – suspension of broadcast license and a fine of N5 million.
“Please be reminded that your station owes the country the responsibility for a truly professional and ethical guided broadcast station especially at times of crisis. Please ensure an immediate stop to the programme.”