NBC Shuts Down Jay FM for Alleged Breach of Broadcasting Code

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Mallam Is'haq Modibbo Kawu
Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Nigeria’s broadcast sector regulator, has ordered the privately-owned radio station, Jay FM, Jos in Plateau State to shut down its operations indefinitely for alleged breach of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

Information available on the station’s website, http://www.jayfm.ng/2019/03/02/shut-down-of-operation/, says: “On the 28th Feb 2019 Operative of the Department of State Services (DSS), stormed our office and insisted that one of our senior staff follows them to their office.”“On the 1st of March 2019, the Station Manager and the Managing Director was also invited and released at about 07:20pm. There after NBC ordered for the immediate shut down of JAY FM (101.9) Jos.”

Three of its management staff: Orji Ojingwa, the station’s head of engineering; Mangna Yusuf, Jay FM’s station manager; and Clinton Garuba, managing director and chief executive officer of the station, had earlier been invited by the DSS and questioned about the station’s coverage of the February 23 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, particularly its reporting on Jos North/Bassa local government districts before the NBC ordered the station to be shut down.

Clinton however described the allegation by the NBC as unfounded and political and accused the DSS and the NBC of conniving to shut down the station. He added that the claim by NBC that its broadcast might lead to a breakdown of law and order was not true and challenged the Commission to cite an instance any misconduct.

He disclosed that the directive to shut down the station directive came through a letter on the night of March 1, 2019, which referred to previous letters of warning and fine on two separate issues dated February 16 and 18 respectively.

He said “While the former was a warning for airing a ‘News Sound Bite’ by Bishop David Abioye charging his followers on how they should vote, the latter was a N100, 000 fine for airing a News Commentary titled ‘does Buhari deserve a second term?’ authored by a listener”.