For showing a documentary on banditry, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined Trust Television, MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, TelCom Satellite Limited, and StarTimes Limited.
NBC’s director-general, Balarabe Ilelah, made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, August 3.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye recently broadcast its documentary, “The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara,” while Trust TV, a group connected to the Daily Trust newspaper, presented “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story” in March.
The NBC statement reads;
The National Broadcasting Commission, today, August 3, 2022, imposed a Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) sanction, each, on Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of DSTV; TelCom Satellite Limited (TSTV); NTA Startimes Limited; for the carriage of the documentary by the BBC Africa Eye titled, ‘Bandit Warlords of Zamfara’ which glorified the activities of bandits and undermines national security in Nigeria.
Trust TV Network Limited was also fined Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) for its documentary titled: ‘Nigeria’s Banditry-The Inside Story’.
While appreciating the need of educating, informing, and enlightening the public on issues bordering on developments and happenings within and outside the country, the Commission wishes to seize this opportunity to advise broadcasters to be circumspect and deliberate in the choice and carriage of contents deleterious to Nigeria’s National security.
Consequently, the airing and carriage of these documentaries contravened the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, sixth edition.
On Broadcast Code On Terrorism
According to Ilelah, the airing of the documentaries contravened section 3(1)(1) of the broadcast code which reads;
No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime. lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.
NBC also said the platforms violated section 3(12)(2), which bars a broadcaster from transmitting a programme
that incites or likely to incite to violence among the populace, causing mass panic, political and social upheaval, security breach and general social disorder”, as well as section 3(11)(2), which reads: “the Broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a manner depicting that law and order are socially superior to, or more desirable than crime or anarchy.
The imposed penalties on these broadcast media platforms and station is to be remitted not later than August 30, 2022. Failure to comply with this will lead to the imposition of a higher sanction as provided in the Code.
Broadcasters are enjoined to be instruments of national unity and desist from falling into antics of using their platforms to promote and glamorise subversive elements and their activities.
Please note that every broadcast station or platform is responsible for the content it transmits or transmitted on its platform, and shall be held liable for any content in violation of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.