NBC Fines Radio Station N5m for Alleged ‘Unprofessional Broadcast’

Dr. Armstrong Idachaba, Ag. DG, NBC
Dr. Armstrong Idachaba, Ag. DG, NBC

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on August 13, 2020, fined a radio station, Nigeria Info 99.3FM  N5millionfor what it called ”unprofessional broadcast”, accusing it of using its station as a platform to promote unverifiably and inciting views.

The NBC made this known in a statement signed by the NBC management titled, ‘The National Broadcasting Commission Fines Nigeria Info 99.3 for Unprofessional Broadcast’.

The fine was for a comment made by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailaifa who, while being interviewed on the programme, ‘Morning CrossFire,’ aired on August 10, between 8.30 am and 9.00 am alleged that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The NBC considered that the radio station did not handle the programme professionally hence it fined the station.

The Commission said in the statement: “The National Broadcasting Commission has noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am.

“The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiably and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.

“Dr. MailafiaObadia’s comments on the “Southern Kaduna Crisis”, were devoid of facts and by broadcasting same to the public, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, is in violation of the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code:

“3.1.1 No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organization, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;

“3.1.2 Broadcasting shall promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited;

“3.3.1 (a) The broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate;

“ The Broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public

interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance;

“3.11.1(a) The broadcaster shall ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast;

“3.11.1(b) No programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state;

“5.4.1(f) The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

“Consequent on these provisions and in line with the amendment of the 6thedition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos, has been fined the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira), only.

“This is expected to serve as a deterrent to all other broadcast stations in Nigeria who are quick to provide a platform for subversive rhetoric and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.

Several individuals and organisations condemned the fine saying the processes leading to it were draconian.