The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), by a letter dated March 27, 2023, has fined Channels Television N5 million for allegedly violating the Nigerian Broadcasting Code in the Seun Okinbaloye-anchored discussion programme, “Politics Today,” which aired on March 22, 2023 with Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of Labour Party, as guest
The letter signed by NBC Director General, Balarabe Ilelah, and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the television station said Mr Datti’s comments during the programme was capable of inciting public disorder and therefore violated some sections of the broadcasting code.
The letter said following infractions, Channels Television was sanctioned and asked to pay a penalty of N5,000,000 (five million naira) only in the first instance, adding, any further violations by the station would attract higher sanctions. It advised the station to pay within two weeks from the day of receipt of the letter it not, the penalty will be graduated
Mr Baba-Ahmed, had during the said programme called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria not to swear in Bola Ahgmed Tinubu, whom INEC declared as the president-elect, insisting that declaring Mr Tinubu the winner and issuing him a certificate of return was against the constitution.
Mr. Baba-Ahmed had said Whoever swears in Mr Tinubu has ended Democracy in Nigeria.
The NBC DG noted that the broadcast was volatile and capable of inciting public disorder and therefore violated some sections of the broadcasting code.
According to him, the broadcast infringed on the section that says 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.
Ilelah added that according to the broadcasting code, broadcasters shall ensure that no programme contained anything which amounted to subversion of constituted authority.
He recalled that NBC had engaged Channels Television several times to consider public interest before any programme is broadcast.