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Mailafia: NBC Fines Nigeria Info FM 5milion naira, Gov’s Demand Probe

NEWSMAN, Abuja – National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has placed a fine of 5milion naira on Nigeria Info FM, Lagos, for providing their platform to be used to promote unverifiable views, which instigated public disorder thereby violating broadcast code.

The Broadcast regulators in a statement on Thursday expressed displeasure over “the unprofessional conduct of Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, in handling the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am”

Ex-Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Dr. Mailafia Obadiah who was a guest on the radio programme was said to have commented on the Southern Kaduna killings by bandits.

“I have met with some of the bandits; we have met with some of their high commanders – one or two who have repented – they have sat down with us not once, not twice. They told us that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same. They have a sophisticated network. During this lockdown their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown”, Mailafia said.

But NBC reacted, saying his statements were devoid of facts and for allowing such information to reach the public, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, is in violation of the NBC code, hence the Fine.

 “The Commission, again, wishes to reiterate that Broadcasters hold Licenses in trust for the people, therefore, no Broadcast Station should be used, to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the people”, the NBC statement read.

According to NBC, the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code were violated:

3.1.1 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 organization, 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; 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 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.

However, Mailafia has refused to deny his claim that a Northern Governor is Boko Haram’s leader.

Speaking with journalists shortly  after been released by the Department of State Services (DSS) who detained him for questioning in Jos on Wednesday, Mailafia made it clear that he did not need to retract the statement he made during the recent interview.

“Yes, all of those words were made by me. If the whole of the 55 minutes was played out, the context of what I said would have become clearer. This is not the time to disown what I said. Yes, I was privy to some very sensitive information which all statesmen are entitled to have by virtue of our public roles”, he said.

 “I must never give up on Nigeria, if need be, I will die for Nigeria. I know that I should have corroborated some of the information I received, but perhaps some of it was uncorroborated. I was in no position to follow them to the camp to corroborate what was going on.” Mailafia stated.

Meanwhile, Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has called for an investigation into the claims made by Mailafiya.

A Statement by the Chairman of the body and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, described Mailafia’s allegation as weighty, saying it must be investigated

 “We, as Northern governors, have met severally to discuss insecurity in the region and the nation at large where we did not only condemn the activities of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, bandits and other criminals, but also engaged the President and all heads of security agencies in finding solutions to the problem. To now say that one of our members is leading Boko Haram is a serious allegation that cannot be swept under the carpet. We demand immediate and thorough investigation.” Lalong said.

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