By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has sanctioned Arise TV, African Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television for what the agency called a gross violation of the broadcast code, especially with the use of alleged unverifiable online video footages on their respective platforms.
The three major broadcast stations were reprimanded over their alleged roles in the escalation of violence across the nation by airing various images of shootings of peaceful protestors by the Nigerian military.
Business Post understands that the regulators fined Arise TV, AIT, and Channels between N2million and N3million.
According to the Acting Director-General of the commission, Mr Armstrong Idachaba, the fines were the last warning before a heavier sanction will be introduced.
The DG also announced that DAAR Communications, owners of AIT, will be fined separately for using an unverifiable news item on the fire incident at the National Christian Centre (NCC).
Though the agency said it was aware of the retraction tendered by the media platform, it emphasised that the action must come with consequences, which it said would be meted out on AIT, owned by Mr Raymond Aleho Dokpesi.
The #EndSARS protest had started on October 8 following the emergence of a video showing a member of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) allegedly killing a man in Delta State.
This spurred Nigerians on the social media take to the streets to call for an end to the police unit. Things took a turn of violence when thugs infiltrated the grounds to scare off protesters, leading to a wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties in different states of the federation.
At the height of the protest last week, the NBC in a press release sighted by Business Post had warned media houses not to embarrass the government with coverage of the #ENDSARS protest by following specific provisions contained in the Nigerian Broadcast Code, more specifically Sections 1.3.3; 5.4.1 (b); 5.4.3; and 5.6.2.
Arise TV was one of the stations that were on ground to give live updates of the protests and the aftermath to its viewers.
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