According to NBC, the broadcast was volatile and capable of inciting public disorder, violating some sections of the broadcasting code.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined Channels Television N5 million for violating broadcasting laws in a program featuring Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed, Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate.
This is stated in a letter dated March 27 and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the television station. The letter was obtained exclusively by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
The letter, titled “Broadcast of an Inciting Interview, A Sanction,” was signed by the commission’s Director-General, Balarabe Ilelah.
“The NBC monitored the broadcast on Wednesday, March 22 of a live interview of the running mate of the Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, by the anchor of Politics Today, Seun Okinbaloye.”
“Dr Baba-Ahmed stated that swearing in an elected president on May 29, 2023, will be unconstitutional due to election irregularities,” Ilelah stated in the letter.
He stated that the broadcast was volatile and had the potential to incite public disorder, and thus violated some sections of the broadcasting code.
This, he claims, includes the section that states that no broadcast shall encourage or incite, be repugnant to public feelings, or contain offensive references to any person or organization, living or dead, or be generally disrespectful to human beings.
Ilelah added that according to the broadcasting code, broadcasters shall ensure that no programme contained anything which amounted to subversion of constituted authority.
He recalled that the NBC had engaged Channels Television severally to consider public interest before any programme is broadcast.
This, he said, was to ensure that the country was not plunged into anarchy.
“Consequently, on the following infractions, Channels Television is hereby sanctioned and shall pay a penalty of ₦5,000,000 (five million naira) only in the first instance,” he said.
He added that any further infraction by the television station would attract higher sanctions.
“You are advised to pay within two weeks from the day of receipt of this letter or the penalty will be graduated,” the NBC Director-General said