The Coalition of Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has condemned the imposition by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of N5 million each sanction on Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of DSTV; TelCom Satellite Limited (TSTV); NTA- Startimes Limited; and Trust TV for broadcasting the documentary by the BBC Africa Eye titled, “Bandits Warlords of Zamfara”, “Banditry- The Insider Story” which the Commission claimed glorified the activities of Bandits and undermines National Security in Nigeria
The CWPPF in a statement issued on August 4, 2022 said it regards the fine slammed on these broadcast services as a baseless and authoritarian move to stifle the press. It pointed out that in many cases, threats of violence and attacks against journalists are not properly investigated, yet the NBC thinks this fine is the best way to constrain the Nigerian media from carrying out its mandate.
The coalition said: “This continuous impunity emboldens the perpetrators of the crimes and at the same time has an undesirable discouraging effect and obstructs journalists and their work.” It noted that in spite of the challenges, Nigerian journalists have remained dogged in exposing corruption, irregularity and security that has affected millions of Nigerians.
It noted that this kind of unwarranted sanctions against journalists impede the free flow of information.
CWPPF condemns the sanctions in its entirety and called on the NBC to withdraw it without delay. It said it will continue to oppose all forms of attacks on human rights and press freedom in Nigeria and across the world and hold the government, individuals and organizations accountable.
The coalition also vowed to continue to take the necessary measures to prevent violence against journalists and media workers and to also fiercely demand accountability and bring perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers to justice.
The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) is a group of media and civil society organisations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.