“President-Elect” Censors Media
Nigeria’s “President-Elect” Bola Tinubu petitions broadcasting authority over interview calling for him not to be sworn in resulting in news channel being fined N5 Million Naira
“President-elect” Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has petitioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction Channels Television for allegedly breaching the Nigerian Broadcasting Code (NBC) during an interview with the Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Baba-Ahmed had during an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, March 22, claimed that Nigeria has no president-elect given the irregularities and breach of the Electoral Act, 2022, and Constitution of Nigeria in Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the February 25 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“President-Elect” Bola Tinubu whose victory in the presidential polls on Feb 25 hinged on voter suppression, violence, ballot box theft, manipulation of figures at the collation centres and INEC’s violation of the electoral act
He alleged that the Certificate of Return issued to Tinubu was a dead certificate as it was against the provisions of Section 134 of the 1999 Constitution, which states that anybody that would be declared president-elect must win 25 per cent of votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He added that swearing in Tinubu as President is “ending democracy” and a clear violation of the 1999 constitution.
The petition dated March 30, 2023, was issued, and signed by the Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), Bayo Onanuga.
On Friday the NBC slammed Channels Television with a N5 million Naira fine following Tinubu’s blistering petition which says that the statements by the LP vice presidential candidate was capable of causing an insurrection and establishment of an interim government.
The letter, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the television station and backdated to March 27 to avoid suspicion that it had to do with Tinubu’s petition dated March 30. The NBC letter’s title: “Broadcast of an Inciting Interview, A Sanction”, was signed by Balarabe Ilelah, the commission’s Director-General.
It read in part:” The NBC monitored the broadcast of a live interview of the running mate of the Labour Party Vice presidential candidate, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, by the anchor of Politics Today, Seun Okibaloye, on Wednesday, March 22.”
“Dr Baba-Ahmed said it will be unconstitutional to swear in an elected president on May 29, 2023, because of election irregularities,” Ilelah said in the letter.
Ilelah accused the station of violating the broadcasting code since the LP vice presidential candidate statements were volatile and capable of inciting public disorder and therefore violated some sections of the broadcasting code.
He referenced the section that said no broadcast shall encourage, or incite, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.
Ilelah added that according to the broadcasting code, broadcasters shall ensure that no programme contained anything which amounted to subversion of constituted authority.
He recalled that the NBC had engaged Channels Television severally to consider public interest before any programme is broadcast.
This, he said, was to ensure that the country was not plunged into anarchy. LP activists have dismissed his claims saying that it was part of a calculated attempt by the ruling party to stifle dissent and protests.
Akowe with reports from NAN