The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos N5m for airing the “inciting views” of a former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
In a statement on Thursday, the country’s broadcast industry regulatory agency said the fine 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.
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“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.
“Stations are, by this statement, admonished to desist forthwith, from airing unwholesome content, or be ready to face appropriate sanctions’’, the NBC management said in the statement.
It said it 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, it said, provided its platform for the guest, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, “to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite crime and lead to public disorder.”
The Commission reiterated that broadcasters hold licenses in trust for the people, adding that no broadcast station should be used to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people.
The NBC said Dr. Obadiah’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 many sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
Dr Obadiah was quizzed for many hours on Wednesday by the Department of State Security (DSS) over his statement on the alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram terrorist group by an unnamed state governor.
- What Mailafiya said
The former CBN deputy governor said the name of the northern governor, the alleged commander of the Boko Haram insurgents was revealed to him in a chat with two repentant terrorists.
According to him during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Boko Haram insurgents distributed arms and ammunition across the country freely.
“During this lockdown their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown. They moved ammunition, moved money across different parts of the country.”
He said him (Mailafiya) along with others met with the Boko Haram repentant commanders.
“Some of us also get our intelligence networks. We have had meetings with some of the bandits; We met with some of their high commanders – one or two that had repented-, They sat down with us not once, not twice,”
He said the terrorists and bandits are the same.
“They told us that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the Bandits are one and the same.
The 63-year-old former CBN Deputy Governor was also a onetime official of the African Development Bank Group.
He was the presidential candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in 2019 presidential election.