The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has imposed a fine of N5 million on Trust Television Network (Trust TV), a subsidiary of Media Trust Limited, over the broadcast of the documentary titled “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story”, which was aired by the station on the 5th of March, 2022.
This is coming some days after the Federal Government had vowed to punish the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Trust TV Network over what it called the unprofessional airing of different documentaries that glorified and is capable of fuelling terrorism in Nigeria.
According to a statement from Trust TV management, this was made known in a letter signed by the Director General of NBC, Balarabe Shehu Illela, who said the fine was imposed on Trust TV because its broadcast of the said documentary contravened sections of the National Broadcasting Code.
What Trust TV network is saying
Trust TV said, “While we are currently studying the Commission’s action and weighing our options, we wish to state unequivocally that as a television station, we believe we were acting in the public interest by shedding light on the thorny issue of banditry and how it is affecting millions of citizens of our country.
“The documentary traces the root of the communal tensions and systemic inadequacies which led to the armed conflict that is setting the stage for another grand humanitarian crisis in Nigeria. It presents insights into the intersection of injustice, ethnicity and bad governance as drivers of the conflict. It also aggregates voices of experts and key actors towards finding solutions, including those of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and Senator Saidu Mohammed Dansadau, who hails from one of the worst-hit communities in Zamfara State.
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“Other experts featured in the documentary include scholars like Professor Abubakar Saddique of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufai of the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, who have both studied the subject of banditry for a long period.
“The documentary also brought to the fore the horrifying stories of victims of banditry.”
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What you should know
- Recall that on Thursday last week, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, during a chat with journalists in Abuja, announced that the Federal Government will sanction the BBC and Daily Trust for their airing of different documentaries glorifying and fuelling terrorism in Nigeria.
- Mohammed said the Federal Government is aware of the unprofessional documentary by the BBC, Africa Eye, where interviews were granted to bandit warlords and terror gangs, thereby promoting terror in the country.
- The minister who said that the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission is aware of these 2 incidents, condemned the BBC for not upholding the same standards and tenets as they would have done in the UK.
- He also condemned Trust TV for using its platform to grant interviews to a bandit kingpin, thereby promoting the activities of terrorists.
- He lashed out at the BBC for not “upholding the same standards and tenets” as they would have done in the UK