Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, the Acting Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has said sanctioned broadcast stations acted recklessly during the shooting of #EndSARS protesters in Lekki toll gate.
They were each awarded an N3m fine over “unprofessional coverage” of the EndSARS protests across the nation.
Following the imposition of the fine, SERAP and other group gave the NBC 72 hours to reverse it or face a lawsuit.
But with the refusal of the NBC to withdraw the sanctions, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) alongside 261 concerned Nigerians, civil society and media groups dragged the federal government and the NBC to court.
Speaking on Arise TV on Wednesday, the NBC boss stated that at times of national emergency and crisis, there must be extreme care and restraint.
He warned broadcast stations to independently verify the authenticity of information sourced on the social media before dissemination to the public.
Idachaba disclosed that some of the sanctioned stations had paid the fine but threatened to raise the fine for the stations who were yet to comply.
The NBC said: “Stations that have been fined have already responded. Some of them have actually paid their fines. Those who have not paid their fines are in further breach of the provisions of the law because what the law clearly says is that when you are sanctioned and you do not respond within time, the regulator has the right to upgrade the sanction and it is not a pleasing option. I hope that the regulator doesn’t get there.”
On waiving the fine for any of the broadcast outfits, Idachaba said: “The matter can be only resolved when stations pay the fines. But beyond payment of fines, I will be more gratified if we have a robust free environment, one that the operator exercises his editorial liberty but not to the point of becoming the aggravator and the stimulant to mass destruction of properties.”
Source: Naija News