The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined the Nigeria Info 99.3FM, Lagos, N5 million for airing views it determined to be hate speech on one of its programmes, “Morning Cross Fire”, which was aired on August 10, 2020, between 8.30am and 9.00am.
In a statement issued on Thursday, NBC noted with grave concern, what it callled the unprofessional conduct of the station to provide its platform for the guest, Dr. Mailafia Obadiah, to promote unverifiable views that could encourage or incite to crime and lead to public disorder.
The Commission reiterated that broadcasters hold licences in trust for the people, adding no broadcast station should be used, to promote personal or sectional interests at the expense of the public.
It noted that Dr Obadia’s comments on the “Southern Kaduna Crisis”, were devoid of facts and by broadcasting same to the public, Nigeria Info 99.3FM, had violated several sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
“By virtue of the provisions of some of the sections, stations are not allowed to broadcast contents that could incite to crime or lead to public disorder or programmes that contain anything that amounts to subversion of constituted authority, capable of compromising the corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign entity.
Broadcasters are to balance all issues in public interest and ensure that information given in a programme, in whatever form, is accurate.
”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 platform for subversive rhetoric and the expositions of spurious and unverifiable claims, to desist from such,” NBC said in the statement.
It threatened that it would not hesitate to suspend the Broadcast Licence of broadcast stations that continue to breach the Code, warning broadcast stations to desist forthwith, from airing unwholesome content, or be ready to face appropriate sanctions.