The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to sue the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over the indefinite suspension of the license of DAAR Communications, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power both belonging to Raymond Dokpesi.
Modibbo Kawu, NBC Director-General, announced the shut down at a press briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Thursday evening, June 6.
The NBC Director-General said the action was taken for failure of the stations to abide by the broadcasting code.
“Today the 6th of June, 2019, AIT/Raypower embarked on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government and, the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria,” he said.
“Consequently, after several meetings with management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning. The NBC, today 6th June 2019 took a decision to suspend the licence of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the Commission’s directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11. The SHUTDOWN order is until further notice.”
The NBC boss said the regulatory agency had been monitoring the stations for a long time and had issued warnings that were defied.
Reacting to the shut down in a terse statement on the micro-blogging site, Twitter, SERAP said: “The NBC must immediately reverse its arbitrary decision to suspend AIT, Raypower or face legal action. This is censorship. The move is a serious blow to freedom of expression and Nigerians’ right to information about critical developments in the country,” the statement added.
BREAKING: The NBC must immediately reverse its arbitrary decision to suspend AIT, Raypower or face legal action.
This is censorship. The move is a serious blow to freedom of expression and Nigerians' right to information about critical developments in the country. @UN_SPExperts
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) June 6, 2019