NBC ordered to cancel fines on AIT, Arise TV from 48 hours.
The National Broadcasting Commission had 48 hours to overturn the fines imposed on AIT, Canali and Arise Tv.
As a reminder, NBC today imposed sanctions for covering the #EndSARS protests.
Now, Nigeria’s leading advocacy group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has given the National Broadcasting Commission 48 hours to lift fines imposed on three TV channels.
SERAP “condemned the unconstitutional and illegal fines of N9m” and threatened to go to court.
National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] TV stations, AIT and Arise TV were fined $ 3 million on Monday for covering the #EndSARS protests.
NBC interim CEO Prof. Armstrong Idachaba announced these punitive sanctions today at a press conference in Abuja.
NBC said TV channels were punished for “unprofessional coverage” of the #EndSARS protests.
SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare said in a statement: “This action by NBC is yet another example of the Nigerian authorities’ drive to silence the media and independent voices.
“NBC should abolish fines and abide by Nigeria’s constitution and international obligations to respect and protect freedom of expression and media freedom.
“We will sue NBC if the unconstitutional sanctions are not lifted within 48 hours.”
The organization stated: “This is a new low level of protection for Nigeria’s freedom of expression and the ability of independent media to function in the country. The fines are detrimental to media freedom and access to information, and NBC must withdraw this decision immediately. ”
“Freedom of the media and their pluralism is central to the effective exercise of freedom of expression and access to information.
“The ability to practice journalism without undue interference, to hide peaceful protests and critical views is critical to the exercise of many other rights and freedoms.”
“The media play a vital role as a ‘public watchdog’ in conveying information of serious public interest and should not be held back or intimidated to play that role. NBC needs to stop targeting and intimidating independent media and voices. “
“President Muhammadu Bukhari should warn NBC to stop bullying and harassing independent media and to abide by Nigeria’s 1999 constitution. [as amended] and the country’s international human rights obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. ”