Arise TV, Channels TV and AIT all acted irresponsibly in their coverage of the #EndSARS protest that rocked most part of the nation, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has insisted.
The Director-General of the NBC, Professor Armstrong Idachaba, stated this when members of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations(NIPR) paid him a visit.
The NIPR had visited the NBC DG to appeal to him to review sanctions handed down to AIT, Arise TV and Channles TV.
The President and Chairman of Council of the NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, called on the NBC to review the sanctions especially as it is crucial that government agencies are not seen to be over-heating the polity.
However, the NBC DG maintained that the agency won’t go back on the sanctions to the stations.
Idachaba, noted that the stations were yet to pay the fine, despite the fact that it gave them two weeks for the payment.
He noted that the NBC, on noticing the deviation and breach of the Broadcast code by the stations had issued a statement and a memo to them, and also met with executive officers of the stations to bring them in line, yet, they continued in their irresponsible coverage of the protests.
They were each awarded an N3m fine over “unprofessional coverage” of the EndSARS protests across the nation.
Following the imposition of the fine, SERAP and other group gave the NBC 72 hours to reverse it or face a lawsuit.
But with the refusal of the NBC to withdraw the sanctions, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) alongside 261 concerned Nigerians, civil society and media groups dragged the federal government and the NBC to court.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the 262 plaintiffs added Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and Professor Armstrong Idachaba, the acting DG of NBC as defendants.
They are asking the court to declare as arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional the N3m fine each imposed on Channels, AIT and Arise TV for their coverage of the #EndSARS protests.