The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined Channels TV, Arise TV and Africa Independent Television (AIT) for thier “unprofessional coverage” of the EndSARS protests.
The NBC had, last week, warned all television and radio stations against reporting the #EndSARS protests in a manner that could embarrass the President Muhammadu Buhari government or private individuals or cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society.
Apparently unsatisfied with the coverage, the NBC fined the three stations N3 million each.
NBC acting Director-General of the NBC Armstrong Idachaba announced this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
Critics say the fines are another example of President Buhari’s aversion to free press and speech.
Buhari, who truncated a democratically elected government in 1983, has a long history of gagging and attacking the press.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to drag the NBC to court if the fines are not rescinded.
“We condemn the illegal fines of N9m reportedly imposed by the National Broadcasting Commission on Channels TV, AIT and Arise TV (N3m each) over their coverage of the EndSARS protests,” SERAP said.
“We’ll sue the NBC if the unconstitutional fines are not rescinded within 48 hours,” it said.