NBC Cautions AIT Against Code Violations
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has cautioned African Independent Television, (AIT) against continuous violation of the Broadcasting Code.
Malam Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu, Director-General of NBC gave the warning during a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that despite the suspension of AIT in June and the subsequent efforts by Nigerian Press Organisation and other relevant stakeholders that culminated to the resolution of the issues, the station has continued to violate the Broadcasting Code.
“In the last few months, our monitoring reports indicate that AIT has continued to air programmes that dwell on the on-going case of the presidential elections, and issues relating to matters in law courts, without regards to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and extant laws.
“On Monday Aug. 19 to Sunday, Aug. 25 the station aired different documentaries centered on matters before the 2019 Presidential Election Tribunal; the action was prejudicial and could be termed contempt of court.
“Specifically, on Monday, Aug. 19 a documentary titled “Who is Nigeria” was aired between 10:00 pm to 10:47 pm. It centred on how the former provinces of Northern Cameroun became a Nigerian enclave.
“Track ups were given to some respondents who made statements like “Atiku is indeed a Nigerian”.
“This came a day after the APC had asked the Presidential Election tribunal to strike out Atiku/PDP petition on the basis of Section 131(a) of the Nigerian Constitution, which mandates that a presidential candidate must be Nigerian by birth.
“On Tuesday, Aug. 20 between 10:00pm to 11:00pm, AIT aired another documentary titled “The Many Troubles of INEC: A Documentary on Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the chequered Road to 2019”.
“This documentary contained an allegation that the 2019 Presidential Election was marred by a well-organised manipulation, violence and intimidations. It alleged that some actions taken by INEC were premeditated and schemed to favour the APC.
“It ended with Atiku’s petition seeking relief to be declared winner of the 2019 Presidential election on the nullification of the election.
“Then on Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 10:00 pm to 10:36pm, a similar documentary on “Who is a Nigerian” was also broadcast.
“References were made to how some communities, like Daura Emirate, were allegedly formerly part of Niger Republic, and have now become part of Nigeria.
“It queried what becomes of persons whose citizenship has been declared to be non-Nigerian.
“The programme also appeared to promote the cause of the proscribed IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) saying their agitation is legitimate, under the United Nation Charter on Universal Declaration of Human and People’s Rights,’’ Kawu said.