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NBC fines Arise TV N2m over report on Bola Tinubu

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has imposed a N2 million fine on Arise TV for alleged violations of the broadcasting code.

The Director-General of NBC, Shehu Illelah, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) had earlier asked NBC to sanction Arise Television and Channels Television over an alleged fake broadcast on the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The council accused the two media organizations of reporting a United States government’s indictment of the former Lagos State governor that had cleared in correspondence between a former Inspector-General of Police, late Tafa Balogun, and Washington.

Illelah recalled that NBC between September 19 and 26, went round the country to sensitise broadcasters and reminded them of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Electoral Act as the country prepares for the 2023 general elections.

He said the commission stressed the need for broadcasters to double-check the veracity of any information, especially, those from social media.

The NBC chief said: “On Saturday, November 12, the commission monitored the use of a press release purportedly signed by Mr. Festus Okoye, a National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), by Arise TV.

“The said press release alleged that INEC was investigating the issue of forfeiture by a United States Court against the presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with a view to prosecution.

“The press release in reference has been tagged fake by INEC and the organisation has also issued a counter press release to refute the story.

“We have drawn the attention of the broadcasters to section 5.0.1 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides that news shall be presented as a truthful and accurate account of an event or phenomenon.

“News requires the highest level of responsibility by practitioners in adhering to the most pristine of their professional ethics. These include truthfulness, accuracy, fairness, objectivity, and impartiality.

“Furthermore, section 5.1.3 of the Code says fake news is prohibited. News is the most potent of all broadcasts and therefore, the editorial responsibility of the broadcaster is sacrosanct. Every news item must be verified.”


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