NBC fines Arise TV over false broadcast about Tinubu

Bola Tinubu

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has penalised Arise TV with a charge of N2 million for airing a fake report about the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu.

A letter dated November 13 and signed by NBC director-general Balarabe Ilelah said the station breached the broadcasting code.

Arise TV had earlier apologised for broadcasting the fake report which claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was investigating Tinubu for alleged drug trafficking.

“The National Broadcasting Commission has imposed a penalty of N2, 000,000.00 (Two Million Naira, Only) on Arise TV, being sanction for the violations of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code,” the letter by NBC read.

“On Saturday 12th November, 2022, the Commission monitored the use of a Press Release purportedly signed by Festus Okoye Esq, the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee of Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, by Arise TV.

“The said Press Release alleged that INEC is investigating the issue of forfeiture by a US Court against the presidential Candidate of the 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.

“It would be recalled that the National Broadcasting Commission, between 19th and 26th of September, 2022, went round the Country to sensitize broadcasters and remind them on the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Electoral Act as we count down to 2023 General Elections. The Commission also underscored the need for broadcasters to double-check the veracity of any information, especially, those gotten from the Social Media gotten from the Social Media (User Generated Content UGC) which is, specifically, affirmed by Section 5.6.5. of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

“Likewise, we draw attention 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 includes truthfulness, accuracy, fairness, objectivity, 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.”

The commission warned all broadcasters to adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.