The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has asked Channels Television and Inspiration FM in Lagos to pay a fine of N5 million each for breaching the broadcast code.
The commission had queried Channels Television after Emma Powerful, a leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was interviewed during one of its programmes in April.
NBC, however, said the TV station apologised for breaching the code.
Similarly, Inspiration FM Lagos reportedly aired a broadcast of IPOB wherein it made “secessionist claims”.
In a statement on Thursday, Armstrong Idachaba, NBC acting director-general, said the sections of the code breached by the stations are “class A” offences which attracts the “immediate order of suspension of broadcast services; suspension of licence and immediate shut down”.
“Section 3.11.1(b), the broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state,” NAN quoted Idachaba as saying.
“(In) 15.5.1: the following penalties shall apply in respect of a breach committed by the broadcaster: light, N200,000 to N500,000; heavy, N500,000 to N4,999,000; severe, N5,000,000.”
The DG said the commission reviewed the appeals of both stations and decided to set aside the option of suspension of licence.
“The NBC has reviewed the appeals and apologies from both stations, and has decided to set aside the option of suspension of licence,” he said.
“The commission has, however, directed both stations to pay N5 million penalty each to serve as a deterrent.”
Idachaba warned broadcasters to stop giving voice to “terrorist organisations”.
IPOB was proscribed in September 2017