Press Freedom: NBC / AIT Resolve Rift
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Daar Communications have settled the rift between themselves.
The settlement was brokered by the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) comprising the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria and the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
Naija News reports that Daar Communications is the parent company of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM.
In a statement after its meeting on Sunday, the President of NPO, Nduka Obaigbena, said Daar Communications will withdraw the case it instituted against the NBC in court while the commission would also rescind its suspension of AIT and Raypower 100.5FM.
“Following this NPO statement, the NBC will immediately lift the suspension of the broadcast license of DAAR Communications Plc. DAAR Communications Plc. will withdraw its case in court, against the NBC and all parties will take necessary steps to work together to build confidence in the public interest,” the statement read in part.
“DAAR Communications Plc. will work out a new realistic payment plan with the NBC and ensure prompt payments in accordance with the new plan.
“DAAR Communications Plc. will appoint an Ombudsman to ensure balance in its news coverage especially political commentary; it will also take full editorial responsibility for the use of content sourced from social media outlets,” the statement added.
Speaking earlier at the meeting, the Director General of the NBC, Modibbo Kawu, had stated the commission’s commitment to freedom of expression and the constitutionally guaranteed role of the media under sections 22 and 39 to hold governments accountable.
Those present at the meeting include the founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, Raymond Dokpesi, jnr, Chairman of the Board, DAAR Communications PLC; Mr Tony Akiotu, GMD, DAAR Communications Plc; Mrs Tosin Dokpesi, MD, AIT; Barrister Donatus Anopuo – Company Secretary DAAR Communications PLC; Uncle Sam Amuka, Publisher, VANGUARD Group; Mallam Ismaila Isa, Patron NPAN and Nduka Obaigbena, President NPAN and President NPO.