Trust TV Gets N5m Fine over Documentary Tracing Roots of Banditry

August 3, 2022
Trust TV Documentary Tracing Roots of Banditry

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The federal government has carried out its threats of imposing a fine on one of the television stations which aired a documentary exposing the roots of banditry in Nigeria.

Trust TV, the television of a popular national newspaper platform, Daily Trust, had in March 2022 broadcast a documentary titled Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, a few days ago, after a foreign media platform, BBC, aired a similar documentary, fumed that actions would be taken over the broadcasts.

He said it was wrong for the stations to show the faces of the terrorists interviewed in the documentary, claiming it was like glorifying their acts.

“I can assure you that there would be consequences,” he had threatened when he addressed newsmen a few days ago.

On Wednesday, the management of Media Trust Group confirmed in a statement that Trust Television Network (Trust TV) has been asked to pay a fine of N5 million for showing the documentary to the world.

It was stated that the letter conveying the sanction was dated August 3, 2022, and was signed by the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Balarabe Shehu Illela, who explained that the fine on Trust TV was for a breach of the the National Broadcasting Code.

However, the management of the TV station said it was “currently studying the commission’s action and weighing our options.”

It emphasised that its airing of the documentary was “in the public interest” as it was done to shed “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, Mr Lai Mohammed, Senator Saidu Mohammed Dansadau, who hails from one the worst hit communities in Zamfara State,” the statement noted.

It added that other experts who featured in the documentary included 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.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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