Leading Nigerian news and current affairs television station, Channels TV may have stirred the hornets’ nest and, consequently, being considered for a stinging reaction from the National Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, for hosting a spokesperson of the secessionist Independent People Of Biafra(IPOB) to an interview.
Already, the NBC is threatening to suspend the broadcast licence of Channels TV and also slam it with a fine of Five Million Naira.
The interview hosted by Seun Okinbaloye on a programme “Politics Today” on Sunday night, according to a strongly- worded letter from the NBC to the management of channels, was in contravention of several of the broadcast codes and extant laws of the land.
“In the programme, a so called new leader or IPOB made several secessionist and inciting declarations on air without caution or reprimand by your station.
“He also made derogatory, false and misleading statements about the Nigerian Army.
“This is reprehensible especially that IPOB remains a proscribed organisation as pronounced by the law courts of the land. This much channels ought to know and respect.”
The letter signed by the Acting Director General, Prof Armstrong Idachaba cited sections 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code as having been violated.
It said Channels TV was now liable to the suspension of its licence and a fine of N5millon provided in Section 15 of the code for its infractions.
He directed an immediate cessation of the programme and cautioned that “the Channels owes the country the responsibility for a true professional and ethically guided Broadcasting especially at times of crisis.”