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BON condemns N5m fine on Channels TV, accuses NBC of threatening broadcast media



The recent fine slammed on Channels Television for allegedly airing ‘incisive interview’ with Labour Party vice presidential candidate, Datti Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, has been vehemently condemned by Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON).

Baba-Ahmed in the interview warned President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Justice of Nigeria against holding the May 29 inauguration, insisting the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election was unconstitutional.

The interview had attracted condemnation from Nigerians, especially politicians, who described it as threat to national security and urged the security agencies to arrest him.

However, BON in a letter dated 3 April and signed by its Executive Secretary, Yemisi Bamigbose, urged the Minsiter of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to reverse the order.

Bamigbose in the strongly worded letter accused the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission of high-handedness and intents to silence broadcast media in the country.

READ ALSO:NBC slams Channels TV with N5m fine over Baba-Ahmed interview

He added NBC had refused to follow its rules as stipulated in the code on investigation of infractions as well as imposition of fines on broadcast houses for alleged infractions.

“This was the situation of all multiple allegations of ‘severe’ infractions levied against Channels Television, Daar Communications, Arise TV and Daily Trust Television among many others”, the letter reads in part.

“The recent case was the imposition of N5 million fine on Channels Television on alleged “severe” infraction committed during a live interview programme titled Politics Today, which featured Mr Datti Baba Ahmed, the Vice Presidential candidate of Labour Party and professionally anchored by Mr Seun Okinbaloye in its episode of Wednesday March 22, 2023.

“Section 14.3.1(a) (b) (c) (d) stipulates how to hand complaints. Section 15.3.1 (a) (b) (c) stipulates categories of fines and what constitute infractions in each category. NBC as usual imposed a fine of N5m for alleged “severe” infraction that was never substantiated nor stated the area of code violated by the station.”

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