The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has shut down Ekiti State Broadcasting Service barely 72 hours after it imposed a N500,000 fine on the station for violating the ethical standards of broadcasting in the country.
The NBC said the shutdown became necessary after Governor Fayose illegally announced his deputy, Prof Olusola, as the winner of the Ekiti State governorship election, and made other malicious and unsubstantiated comments against INEC, the police and the DSS.
The shutdown was announced by the commission’s Southwest monitoring chief, Prof Armstrong Idachaba, who said Fayose went on air to announce fake results in favour of the PDP candidate, adding that the stations, comprising radio and television, will remain shut till further notice.
The director-general of NBC, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, had during a news conference on the Ekiti governorship election, in Abuja, explained that broadcasters had an obligation to ensure that they did not disrupt the peace and order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the nation’s democracy.
According to him, Ekiti State Broadcasting Service has been unprofessional in its activities, particularly in the past two weeks and NBC cannot but take action.
The D-G expressed dismay at the failure of the station to meet the ethical standard of broadcasting in airing political activities in the state and said the commission had earlier issued written directives on how they should conduct themselves before, during and after elections.
He also pointed out that the appointment of the acting director-general of Ekiti Broadcasting Service, Lere Olayinka, as the spokesperson of Kolapo Olusola Campaign Organisation breached ethical standards of broadcasting.
“For the avoidance of doubt, section 5.2. and 18 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code states that while a broadcaster /producer may interact with politicians in the course of his professional duties.
“This shall not be such as to lead to the belief that he is either a member or sympathiser of any political party,” he said.
Mr Kawu said the NBC had written to the station and drawn its attention to the violation of the code, but that its words of caution were ignored.
According to him, “When President Muhammadu Buhari visited Ekiti State, the governor actually did a broadcast telling the people not to receive the president. You can carry partisanship up to a point but not up to that level.
“So we are sanctioning the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service (with) the highest level of sanction that NBC can impose.”
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