NBC Shuts Down Ekiti  Broadcasting Service for Alleged Breach of NBC Code,  Electoral Act

Mr. Is’Haq Modibbo Kawu, The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
Mr. Is’Haq Modibbo Kawu, The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service to shut down its transmission for allegedly breaching the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Electoral Act.

In a statement signed by the Commission’s head of Public Affairs, Ms Maimuna Jimada, it noted that the decision was taken after an unauthorized declaration of the governorship election results by the state Governor Mr. Ayodele Fayose on the Ekiti State Broadcasting station.

In addition, the Governor went on air to make malicious and unsubstantiated claims against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Police and the Department of Security Services (DSS).

The Commission had on June 5, 2018, queried the station’s Acting Director General, Mr. Lere Olayinka, who also happens to be the spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign organization, and the State government with regard to the breach of Section 5.2.18 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. Both letters were ignored by the recipients according to NBC.

As a result of the aforementioned, the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service was on July 11, 2018, found guilty of breaching sections 5.2.7 and 5.2.8 of the NBC Code and therefore fined N500,000 and reprimanded by the Commission. The station was ordered to remain shut down till further notice.

The Director General of NBC, Malam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, urged all broadcasters to adhere strictly to the ethics of the profession in conducting all programmes on their stations with respect to the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11 Laws of the Federation, 2004 and the Electoral Act.

Malam Kawu drews the attention of all, to the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code including Section 3.1.2 which states that:  “Materials likely to incite or encourage to the commission of a crime or lead to public disorder shall not be broadcast”.

He also called attention to Section 5.2.15 which say: “A broadcaster shall broadcast election results or declaration of the winner only as announced by the authorized electoral officer for the election.”

Malam Kawu also emphasized that the Social Media is not an official source for release of election results.

The NBC reiterated that broadcasting stations must ensure proper gatekeeping and professionalism in all programmes transmitted on their stations warning that it would impose severe sanctions for any breach of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.