The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) “condemned the arbitrary and unlawful fines levied on Channels TV, AIT and Arise TV N3m each by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) allegedly over their coverage of the #EndSARS protests”
At a press conference in Abuja today, the acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, announced that the agency has fined Channels Television, Arise Television and Africa Independent Television AIT, for what it deemed ‘unprofessional coverage’ of the protests against #EndSARS.
“Reacting, SERAP said in a statement by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare:” This NBC action is yet another example of the drive of the Nigerian authorities to censor independent media and voices.
“NBC should drop the fines and uphold the constitution of Nigeria and international commitments to respect and protect freedom of speech and freedom of the media. We will sue NBC if, within 48 hours, the illegal fines are not rescinded.
“This is a new vulnerability in Nigeria ‘s defense of freedom of speech and the capacity of independent media to operate in the country, according to SERAP.
“The fines are counterproductive to the freedom of the media and access to information, and NBC must revoke the decision immediately.”
“The media has a critical role to play in transmitting knowledge of significant public interest as a ‘public watchdog’ and should not be discouraged or intimidated from playing that role.
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