Hate speech: FG fines radio station N5m

The Federal Government has fined a Lagos-based radio station, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, for unprofessional conduct. Nigeria Info 99.3FM had on Monday hosted former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, in its morning programme, “Morning Cross Fire.”

Mailafia spoke on the killings in southern Kaduna, and alleged that a northern governor was one of the commanders of Boko Haram. He also raised some pertinent security issues, which led to his invitation on Wednesday by the Department of Security Service (DSS) in Jos, Plateau State.

He was, however, released unconditionally after interrogation. The National Broadcast Commission (NBC) in a statement yesterday, said the interview was a breach of the broadcasting code. The Federal Government had recently imposed a series of fines on the media, which it said was to tackle hate speech and other misdemeanour.

NBC in a statement to the management of Nigeria Info, 99.3FM, accused them of providing Mailafia its platform “to promote unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.” It reminded broadcast stations in the country that they hold their licences in trust for the people, adding that no broadcast station should be used to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people. NBC stated that Mailafia’s comments on the southern Kaduna crisis “were devoid of facts and by broadcasting the same to the public, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, is in violation of” the Nigeria broadcasting code. Among the codes the commission said the radio station breached include sections 3(1)(1), 3(1)(2), 3(3)(1a).

“Consequent upon these provisions and in line with the amendment of t

he 6th edition 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 that 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,” NBC warned.




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