Following the sanction by the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, on Channels Television over its interview with the spokesperson of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, the International Press Centre, IPC, on Tuesday, described NBC’s move as unwarranted and “highly” intimidatory.
IPC, which stated that there was no law mandating the media not to report IPOB’s activities, emphasized that Channels Television acted in the public and national interest.
According to IPC in a statement signed by its Communications Officer, Olutoyin Ayoade, the NBC was on a mission of another round of violation of press freedom in Nigeria after the anchor of Politics Today, Seun Okinbaloye, did refer to IPOB as a proscribed organisation in the course of the interview.
While urging NBC to desist from its anti-press freedom path by withdrawing its letter to Channels Television, IPC, stressed that the commission turned itself to the prosecutor, and the judge in the case.
The statement partly read “It is absolutely confounding, that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has threatened to sanction Channels Television, for interviewing the spokesman of the proscribed organization during the broadcast of its ‘Politics Today’ Programme on Sunday April 25, 2021, despite the fact that the station was merely doing a follow-up on the story which had broken earlier.
“By threatening that the station “remains liable to sanctions provided in section 15 of the code which prescribes among others – suspension of broadcast license and the fine of 5million’ and ordering the suspension of the politics today Programme, the NBC has embarked on another round of violation of press freedom in Nigeria.”
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