By Salisu Sani-Idris
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has sanctioned 45 broadcast stations, including NTA, AIT, Channels and TVC News, for alleged ethical infractions in relation to the 2019 general elections.
Director-General of the commission, Malam Is’haq Modibbo, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Friday.
Kawu said the erring stations, which cut across the country, violated provisions of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, and were fined N500,000 each.
“Despite our various interventions, at the end of the Presidential election which was held on 23, Feb. 2019, 45 stations were found culpable of infractions on the provision of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and have been sanction accordingly.
“We gave them the highest level of sanction under the NBC which is to make them to pay N500,000 each and they cut across the entire country.
“NBC also sanctioned stations that allowed politicians to utter abusive, inciting and provocative statements during rallies.
“And this happened on several radios and television stations, particularly and unfortunately on the big national networks such as NTA, AIT, Channels, TVC News.
“There are also several radio and TV stations involved in this various infraction.
“Only recently J FM for instance in Jos, Plateau State was sanctioned for inciting broadcast by a preacher, who moved away from religion into the arena of politics and was saying particularly inciting comments.”
Kawu warned that any of the stations that continue to broadcast hate and inflammatory comments that threaten the security of the country would be shutdown.
He said that it had become necessary for NBC to issue such warning as the country move to the next elections.
He reminded all the stations that were sanctioned and those that were not to know that the next step NBC was going to take was to close down any erring station.
Kawu said that the commission had set up a National Monitoring System involving all members of the board of management of NBC to monitor stations on 24 hours basis.
“We monitored all the broadcast in every single Radio and Television and all our licences. We monitored exactly the way people performed during the elections.
The DG said that NBC was working in partnership with INEC, the EFCC, and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Units on tracking campaign financing in the country.
“It is a very vital part of deepening the democratic process and it is important for us to mention this as we move to the next elections.