NBC slams N5m fine on Nigeria Info over Mailafia’s weighty allegation on northern governor

The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has slammed N5million fine on the Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos over Dr. Mailafia Obadia’s comments on the “Southern Kaduna Crisis”.

Recall that in an interview with a Lagos-based FM Radio aired on August 10, Mr Mailafia, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had alleged that one of the Northern governors was a Commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

On Wednesday, the Northern Governor’s Forum Chairman and Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, described the allegation as weighty, saying that such claims were either smear campaigns or attempts to discourage the governors who were putting in their best in the fight against the terrorists.

The NBC, in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Ekanem Antia, declared that Mr Mailafia;s comments were in violation of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

The Commission, therefore, slammed a fine of N5,000,000.00 on the Radio station.

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

Read the full statement below:

THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION FINES Nigeria Info 99.3FM FOR UNPROFESSIONAL BROADCAST

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 unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.

The Commission, again, wishes to reiterate that Broadcasters hold Licenses in trust for the people. Therefore, no Broadcast Station should be used, to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people.

Dr. Mailafia Obadia’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 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;

3.3.3.1(b) 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 platform for subversive rhetoric and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.

The Commission wishes to put it on record that it will not hesitate to suspend the Broadcast Licence of broadcast stations that continue to breach the Code.

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