The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has criticised the decision of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to impose a fine on a media station, Channels TV over its broadcast of an IPOB interview.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that the NBC levied a fine while suspending the said programme due to an interview with the spokesperson of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mr. Emmanuel Powerful.
The now-suspended Channels TV programme “Politics Today” had featured Powerful on Sunday, April 25, where he reportedly made some incendiary statements.
Subsequently, the NBC decreed the suspension of the programme.
However, SERAP implored the NBC to reverse the suspension of Channels Television and imposition of N5 million fine on the station for breaching the broadcast code.
The organisation also pledged to ensure legal redress, if the appeal is not affected.
SERAP in a statement on Monday by its deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The suspension of Channels Television is unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, and without any legal basis whatsoever. The government and NBC should immediately lift the suspension and reverse the fine.
“We will pursue appropriate legal action if the arbitrary, unconstitutional and illegal suspension and fine are not reversed within 48 hours.”
“This action by the government and NBC is yet another example of Nigerian authorities’ push to silence independent media and voices.
“The government and NBC must lift the suspension and uphold the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) and international obligations to respect and protect freedom of expression and media freedom.”
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