The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), on Wednesday imposed N500, 000 fine on Ekiti State Broadcasting Service for violating the ethical standards of broadcasting code in the country.
The Director-General of NBC, Malam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, made this known at a news conference on Ekiti Governorship Election, in Abuja.
Kawu said that broadcasters had an obligation to ensure that they did not disrupt the good order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the nation’s democracy.
According to him, Ekiti State Broadcasting Service has been unprofessional in its activities, particularly in the past two weeks and NBC cannot but take action.
The D-G said the station had not been been meeting ethical standard of broadcasting in airing political activities in the state.
He said that the appointment of the Acting Director-General of Ekiti Broadcasting Service, Mr Lere Olayinka, as the Spokesperson of Kolapo Olusola Campaign Organisation (KOCO), was not in conformity with the ethical standard of broadcasting.
“For the avoidance of doubt, section 5.2. and 18 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code states that while a broadcaster /producer may interact with politicians in the course of his professional duties. ‘this shall not be such as to lead to the belief that he is either a member or sympathizer of any political party,” he said.
Kawu said that NBC had written to the station and drawn its attention to the violation of the code, but that words of caution were ignored .
“When President Muhammadu Buhari went to Ekiti State, the governor actually did a broadcast telling the people not to receive the President.
“You can carry partisanship up to a point but not up to that level.
“So we are sanctioning the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service, the highest level of sanction that NBC can impose,” he said.
The DG said that the Director of Broadcast Monitoring and other personnel of the commission would be on ground to monitor the situation.
Kawu said that broadcasters were allowed to operate within the context of law in a fair and professional manner.
He explained that the commission had earlier issued written directives on how stations were to conduct themselves before, during and after elections.
“Every station is aware of the ways it must conduct itself as broadcast professionals and institutions,” he said.
This article was first published in the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)