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NBC After AIT again


*working to silent opposition voices in Nigeria*

Mallam Modibbo Kawu, Director General (DG) of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is at it again.

This time around, the APC led NBC DG has listed the followings as grouses against AIT/DAAR communications PLC:

1. On the law of contempt in the coverage of issues before the presidential election petition tribunal and the courts of law

2. An allegation that the documentary *”who is a Nigerian”* appeared to promote the cause of the proscribed IPOB by saying that according to the United Charter on Universal Declaration of Human and People’s rights; a position in one of the documentaries *”INEC and the agony of a nation”* that the 2019 election conducted by INEC under the current Chairman, Prof. Manhood Yakubu was the worst in the history of INEC.

3. A vox pop aired on AIT where residents of Enugu state expressed concern on the inability of the nation’s judiciary to serve justice to the people.


*Please note that, after the impasse between the commission and DAAR communications some months ago, the commission and the management of DAAR communications PLC agreed amongst other things not to interfere in the editorial contents of the station (AIT) and respect the rights of the realm of the fourth estate to both hold Government and institutions of power accountable to the people and citizens of Nigeria as well as NBC’s commitment not to interfere with constitutionally protected rights of Nigerians to express themselves and comment*

The alleged offenses by AIT borders on the same issues that led to the last impasse which ended up in court but was settled out of court.

*The position of AIT*

1. *It is only a judge of competent jurisdiction that can pronounce the actions of AIT as being in contempt of court and not the broadcasting commission*

2. On the issue of balanced reportage, while President Buhari called only 7 witnesses, INEC and the APC refused to call witness. So, there was no available materials before the court to counter balance the petition filed by the PDP and its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

3. It is worthy to note that, AIT has interviewed lawyers representing both the petitioners and the defendants in this, both of whom have spoken eloquently on the merits or demerits of their submissions and legal arguments for the courts to determine.

4. On the documentaries and vox pops, they are based on the arguments filed by counsel to both the petitioners and the defendants. The documentaries have simply attempted to fact-check the truthfulness and correctness of arguments made by both legal teams. *We hold that public interest is best served by the citizen’s right to know and we have not defiled or violated any professional ethic in pursuit of the truth*

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