Mailafia Obadiah: NBC fines radio station N5m

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined the Nigeria Info 99.3Fm, Lagos, a sum of N5 million for providing its platform for a guest, Dr Mailafia Obadiah, to promote what it described as unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite crime and lead to public disorder.

Recall that Mailafia Obadiah had said during a radio interview that a particular governor in the North is the leader of Boko Haram.

A statement from the Commission said it noted with grave concern, the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in the handling of the programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30 am and 9.00 am.

“The station provided its platform for the guest, Dr Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder”, the statement said.

While reiterating that broadcasters hold licenses in trust for the people, the Commission said no Broadcast Station should be used to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people.

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“Dr Mailafia Obadia’s comments on the “Southern Kaduna Crisis”, were devoid of facts and by broadcasting same to the public, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, is in violation of the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code:

“3.1.1: No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity;

3.1.2: Broadcasting shall promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited;

“3.3.1 (a) The broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate;

“3.3.3.1(b) The Broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public  interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance;

“3.11.1(a) The broadcaster shall ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast;

“3.11.1(b)No programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or the corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state;

“5.4.1(f)The Broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state”, the statement explained.

NBC,  therefore sais “consequent on these provisions and in line with the amendment of the 6thedition of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Nigeria Info 99.3FM Lagos, has been fined the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira), only.

“This is expected to serve as a deterrent to all other broadcast stations in Nigeria who are quick to provide a platform for subversive rhetoric and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such.

“The Commission wishes to put it on record that it will not hesitate to suspend the Broadcast Licence of broadcast stations that continue to breach the Code.

“Stations are, by this statement, admonished to desist forthwith, from airing unwholesome content, or be ready to face appropriate sanctions”.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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