The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has imposed a two million Naira (N2,000,000) sanction on ARISE NEWS and Continental Broadcasting Service Limited (TVC) each.
The Director General, NBC Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, announced the punishment in separate letters he wrote to the management of the affected organisations on February 3, 2023
NBC said the fines should be paid within two weeks of the receipt of the letters or the sanction would be graduated.
In its letter to TVC, the commission accused the television station of breaching the following sections of the Code: 1.10.4; 3.1.2; 3.1.2; 3.3.1(e); 4.2.2 (g); 4.2.2 (g); 4.3.1(e); 5.3.3 (c); 5.3.3 (e); 5.3.3 (f); and 5.5.1 (b).
It accused TVC News of allowing derogatory and unfair comments to be broadcast on its station.
Ilelah said the worrisome trend had become a house style on TVC.
It said the unprofessional broadcasts by TVC include the Joint media Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council press briefing where Festus Keyamo said “Obasanjo and Atiku run a criminal enterprise, an empire of fraud in Abuja…” and alleged that some goons of Atiku Abubakar were planning to eliminate Michael Achimugu, a whistle blower.
It also excoriated TVC News of not giving equal news coverage to other political parties in all their news.
In the letter to ARISE NEWS, NBC said there were infractions on the following sections of the code: 1.10.4; 3.1.2; 3.3.1(e); 5.3.3 (e); 5.3.3 (f); 5.5.1 (b); 5.5.1 (d); and 5.5.6.
The commission cited the broadcast of the presidential campaign rally of PDP in Delta, interview with former APC Campaign Director, Na’jaatu Muhammed, and broadcast of the PDP presidential campaign rally in Sokoto.
“On 24th January, 2023, ARISE TV aired a presidential campaign rally of PDP which held in Delta State, replete with unfair remarks and mockery of the APC presidential candidate by Dino Melaye.
“Mr Meleya sang a song ‘…hand dey shake, leg dey shake, baba wey no well, e dey shout emilokan’. He further went on to fall down demonstrating the frailty of the APC presidential candidate.
“ARISE NEWS didn’t only air the program but repeated the addition of the distasteful clip of Dino Melaye in a mockery of the APC presidential candidate in another program anchored by Ojy Okpe, What’s Trending. The presenter and her colleagues had a good laugh over such unfair treatment of another.”
It stated another instance: “On 26th January 2023, at 9:40am, during the programme Morning Show, a guest, Na’jaatu Muhammed described the presidential candidate of APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as mentally deranged without caution from the anchor. The guest had a field day with vituperations against the presidential candidate of the APC. She referred to him as senile.
“Hajiya Naja’tu in the same broadcast said ”we are not going to vote for hypocrites, the one that lied that he’s a muslim, but he doesn’t know how to recite the suratul fathia. We are not going to vote an illiterate that doesn’t know anything. If people insist on voting him then they should also get ready to allow him lead them in prayers…”
NBC also reported that monitoring has indicated TVC does not give equal coverage to political parties in all their news.
On 10th October, 2022, TVC News started the news with 17minutes of APC and 1 minute on PDP news with a video clip that didn’t play.
It furrher quoted some of the broadcast code that was breached by TVC News.
“On 06/01/23 at 12:29PM, the joint Media Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council made the following comments while briefing the media.
‘…Obasanjo and Atiku run a criminal enterprise, an empire of fraud in Abuja, At the same time that Ahmed Bola Asiwaju was toiling hard beautifully and meticulously to rebuild Lagos, 2 criminals were stealing money in Abuja at the time…they both stole from the SPV account at that time.'”
The infractions according to the NBC include:
“On 24/01/23 at 03:39PM, during the APC presidential rally in Abia State, the APC presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu after telling the public to vote APC under the symbol of the broom, he went on to make the following comment ‘…You know what to do with the rest of them? They are like lizard, cockroaches and mosquitoes. Just take broom, wipe them off.'”