The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Tuesday said Channels Television has apologised for breaching the country's broadcasting code. NBC's Director of Public Affairs, Franca Aiyetan, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja.Aiyetan explained that the Commission’s letter to the TV station was a regulatory instrument to check excesses. She insisted that the letter did not seek to close down nor sanction the station. “It was actually not for public consumption. It was not a press release. It was a regulatory instrument to check the excesses of the station. In the letter addressed to Channels TV Managing Director on Monday, the NBC accused the station of promoting content liable to incite hatred and sectionalism by tolerating the IPOB spokesman’s “derogatory, false and misleading statements” which is in violation of Sections 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of broadcasting Act. “For obviously breaching the above provisions of the Law, your station remains liable to sanctions provided in section 15 of the Code which prescribes among others – suspension of broadcast license and a fine of 5 million,” the NBC said in the letter signed by its Director-General, Armstrong Idachaba. Many Nigerians interpreted the letter to mean Channels TV had been suspended and fined by the NBC for broadcasting the interview.
Recall that the Commission queried Channels Television after Emma Powerful, a leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was interviewed on its live programme, ‘‘Politics Today’’, on Monday, April 26th. Following the news of its action, NBC faced wide condemnation by many Nigerians who viewed the alleged suspension of Channels TV by NBC as an attack on media freedom and independence.
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