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NBC Fines DSTV, Trust TV, TSTV, StarTimes N5m Each Over Documentary On Bandits

Nigerian Government has imposed fine on media planforms which aired documentaries on bandits.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has imposed a N5 million fine on MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, Trust Television, TelCom Satellite Limited, and StarTimes Limited for airing a documentary on banditry.

NBC Fines DSTV, Trust TV, TSTV, StarTimes N5m Each Over Documentary On Bandits

Media Platforms Fined Over Documentary On Bandits

The development comes a few days after the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed revealed that the Federal Government will punish the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Daily Trust for glorifying terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.

Trust TV, an organization affiliated with Daily Trust newspaper, and BBC’s “Africa Eye” had aired their separate documentaries which exposed the activities of the bandits and terrorists in northern Nigeria.

While Trust TV published a documentary entitled ‘Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story’, in March, BBC Africa Eye released its documentary — ‘The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara’ — recently.

In a statement on Wednesday, August 3, the Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah announced that DSTV, StarTimes, and TSTV were fined N5m each because the platforms aired the BBC documentary on banditry.

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The statement reads, “The National Broadcasting Commission, today, August 3, 2022, imposed a Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) sanction, each, on Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of DSTV; TelCom Satellite Limited (TSTV); NTA Startimes Limited; for the carriage of the documentary by the BBC Africa Eye titled, ‘Bandit Warlords of Zamfara’ which glorified the activities of bandits and undermines national security in Nigeria.

“Trust TV Network Limited was also fined Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) for its documentary titled: ‘Nigeria’s Banditry-The Inside Story’.

“While appreciating the need of educating, informing, and enlightening the public on issues bordering on developments and happenings within and outside the country, the Commission wishes to seize this opportunity to advise broadcasters to be circumspect and deliberate in the choice and carriage of contents deleterious to Nigeria’s National security.

“Consequently, the airing and carriage of these documentaries contravened the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, sixth edition.”

According to Ilelah, the airing of the documentaries contravened section 3(1)(1) of the broadcast code which reads: “No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime. lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference to any person or organisation, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity”.

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NBC also said the platforms violated section 3(12)(2), which bars a broadcaster from transmitting a programme “that incites or likely to incite to violence among the populace, causing mass panic, political and social upheaval, security breach and general social disorder”, as well as section 3(11)(2), which reads: “the Broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a manner depicting that law and order are socially superior to, or more desirable than crime or anarchy”.

“The imposed penalties on these broadcast media platforms and station is to be remitted not later than August 30, 2022. Failure to comply with this will lead to the imposition of a higher sanction as provided in the Code,” Ilelah added.

“Broadcasters are enjoined to be instruments of national unity and desist from falling into antics of using their platforms to promote and glamorise subversive elements and their activities.

“Please note that every broadcast station or platform is responsible for the content it transmits or transmitted on its platform, and shall be held liable for any content in violation of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”

KanyiDaily recalls that Lai Mohammed had recently revealed that 1,600 ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists had learnt trades in various fields and re-integrated into the society where they are now contributing positively to their environments.

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