August 16, 2022

Reporters’ Diary

Factual Reportage

NBC suspends Human Rights Radio license

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has suspended the license of Human Rights Radio until the station committed to ethical and professional broadcasting.

The acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, explained that the suspension order would take effective on Monday (May 31) at 12 a.m.

Idachaba further said the order would last for 30 days, during which it was expected that the broadcaster would put its house in order and attune itself to responsive, professional and responsible broadcasting.

The acting director-general also revealed that the station would pay a recommencement fee of N5 million, as provided for in Section 15.5.1 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

He stated that the commission had over the years advised, cautioned, warned and fined the station over repeated cases of outright abuse, denigrating remarks, intimidation and flagrant abuse of ethics of fairness, balance and fair hearing.

He said it was also on record that the commission had conducted several training and retraining programmes for the station and the host of the Brekete Family programme, especially.

Idachaba disclosed that NBC met with Mr Ahmed Isah, the Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights Radio and popular host of Brekete family programme, on (Tuesday) May 26.

He stated that the meeting afforded Isah the opportunity to explain the circumstances that led to the recent unfortunate incident at his radio station.

“Where rather than promoting human rights and human dignity, a citizen who was invited to the programmme was physically assaulted by the broadcaster.

“NBC has reviewed the events and notes the unreserved apologies and regrets expressed by the broadcaster,” he said.

Idachaba noted that the action of the broadcaster was in clear violations of the broadcasting code and a betrayal of the confidence reposed on him by the people and Government of Nigeria on whose behalf he held the radio license in trust.

Acccording to him, Section 0.1.1.2.1 of the broadcasting commission provides in the Social Objectives of Broadcasting that broadcasting shall:

“Promote generally accepted social values and norms, especially, civic and social responsibilities; and encourage respect for the dignity of man.

“It also provides that broadcasting organisations shall recognise that they exercise freedom of expression as agents of society.

“Not for any personal or sectional rights, privileges of their own or of their proprietors, relatives, friends or supporters,” Idachaba said.