NBC Threatens To Sanction Channels TV Over Ortom Interview

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Samuel Ortom

The National Broad­casting Commission (NBC) has threat­ened to sanction Channels Television over an interview granted Gover­nor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.

The NBC had on Thursday queried private broadcast station, Channels Television, over the “inciting, divisive and unfair comments” made by Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, on the TV’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast pro­gramme on Tuesday.

It was also gathered that the commission is not com­fortable with an interview granted by a former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawun­mi, who alleged that current members of the Buhari cabi­net are Boko Haram sponsors.

The commission has since summoned anchors of the programme who honoured the invitation and are at the NBC office in Abuja.

The NBC, in a letter to the television station titled, ‘Notice of Infraction’, said, “The programme which had as guest the Executive Gover­nor of Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom, was observed to contain inciting, divisive and unfair comments which were not thoroughly interro­gated by the anchors.”

The regulator’s letter was dated August 24, 2021, and signed by its Director-Gen­eral, Balarabe Ilelah.

It said the actions allegedly negated sections 1.10.4, 3.1.1, 3.3.1(b), 3.3.1(e), 3.11.1(a), and 3.12.2 of the Nigeria Broad­casting Code.

“Consequently, Channels Television is required to ex­plain why appropriate sanc­tions should not be applied for these infractions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. Your response should reach the commission within 24 hours of the receipt of this letter,” the NBC said.

Meanwhile, elder states­man, Alhaji Tanko Yakas­sai, on Thursday charged the various media bodies in the country such as the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) to speak out on the alleged attempts by the Federal Government to gag the media.

In a chat with World Africa, Yakassai, a for­mer presidential adviser to the late President Shehu Shagari, said the silence of the various media bodies in the country over the issue is unacceptable.

“I will not comment on this matter. Why can’t the me­dia complain? Why are your bodies silent on these issues? You have the Nigerian Union of Journalists and Guild of Editors, what are they doing about this? I think they owe it a duty to speak out”, he said.

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