Nigeria News
NBC indicts AIT, NTA for documentary on Buhari

The National Broadcasting Commission has indicted the African Independent Television and the National Television Authority for airing controversial sponsored documentary on the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, the Director of Public Affairs at the NBC, Mr. Awwalu Salihu, also listed other television and radio stations that were indicted for various offences committed in the coverage of the 2015 general elections.

Although Salihu simply mentioned the offence of the NTA and AIT as contravening rules for airing sponsored materials, the two stations had been at the centre of controversy for airing documentaries on Buhari and a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

NTA was also indicted for contravening rules on sensibilities while AIT was also indicted for contravening 24-hour advert prohibition rules.

Other stations that were indicted for varied offences include Rima Radio, STV Lagos, NTA Lagos, NTA2 Channel 5, TVC Lagos, NTV, PRTV Jos, NTA Makurdi, Vision FM, Nigeria Info, OSBC TV, Freedom TV, Ilesa, BCOS TV, Liberty TV, Liberty Radio, Karama (FRCN) FM, Alheri FM, NTA Jos, Ombe Media Corp Radio FM, BSES Ekiti and DSTV (Ebony Live TV Channel).

Salihu said, “The contraventions include breaches of the rules on the broadcast of sponsored electoral campaign materials, which must conform to the standards of truth, decency and good taste, and requiring the sponsor to be clearly identified.

“Other breaches included the airing of campaign materials or programmes that promoted political parties or candidates within the 24-hour prohibition period, as well as unauthorised networking by a group of stations.”

The NBC spokesman said all the stations had either been queried or sanctioned according to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

Also, the European Union Election Observation Mission Chief Observer, Santiago Fisas, said during the presentation of the mission’s preliminary statement in a press conference in Abuja that EU’s media monitoring team discovered that government-controlled broadcast media exhibited partisanship by giving advantage to the incumbent at federal or state level.

Fisas added, “The European Union Election Observation Mission commends the Nigerian people for their commitment to the overall peaceful and orderly elections this weekend-despite frustration and challenges caused by often late opening of polling sites, failing biometric voter verification, some regrettable violent incidents, and re-polling on Sunday.”

In a statement sent to one of our correspondents by the mission’s Press and Public Outreach Officer, Eberhard Laue, Fisas however said that some private media organisations were balanced and objective in their coverage of the elections.

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