The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined Channels Television and Inspiration FM in Lagos to a tune of N5 million each for breaching the broadcast code.
It would be recalled that the NBC had issued a suspension letter to Channels Television in April for granting an interview to Emma Powerful, a spokesman of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
NBC, however, made a U-turn after the television station issued an apology.
Similarly, Inspiration FM Lagos reportedly aired a broadcast of IPOB wherein it made “secessionist claims”, The Cable reports.
In a statement on Thursday, Armstrong Idachaba, NBC acting director-general, said the sections of the code breached by the stations are “class A” offences which attract the “immediate order of suspension of broadcast services; suspension of licence and immediate shut down”.
“Section 3.11.1(b), the broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state,” the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, quoted Idachaba as saying.
“(In) 15.5.1: the following penalties shall apply in respect of a breach committed by the broadcaster: light, N200,000 to N500,000; heavy, N500,000 to N4,999,000; severe, N5,000,000.”
The DG said the commission reviewed the appeals of both stations and decided to set aside the option of suspension of licence.
“The NBC has reviewed the appeals and apologies from both stations, and has decided to set aside the option of suspension of licence,” he said.
“The commission has, however, directed both stations to pay N5 million penalty each to serve as a deterrent.”
Concluding the statement, the NBC boss warned broadcasters to stop giving voice to “terrorist organisations”.