IPOB interview: Channels TV has apologised for breaching broadcast code, says NBC

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Broadcasting watchdog, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) today disclosed that Channels Television has owned up to its infraction and has written a letter of apology to the commission.

This was disclosed by the NBC director of public affairs, Franca Aiyetan, while giving an update on the issue in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

Recall that the commission on Monday directed Channels TV to immediately suspend the broadcast of Politics Today, the Stations flagship political programme, for interviewing a leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The NBC directive drew criticisms from many Nigerians.

In the interview with NAN, Aiyetan said the commission’s letter was an “instrument to check its excesses”

“It is a station that won an award, but we say in this particular situation, ‘you did not handle it professionally’. It is possible to breach the public peace and that was what the letter conveyed to Channels TV, to which the TV station has responded, saying ‘we apologise, we did wrong’.

“When the media started asking me about Channels TV, I had to go and find out what letter we had issued, because if it is a press release or something that is for public consumption, it will come to the public affairs department of NBC, and I will be able to communicate to the media about it. But this letter that went to Channels TV is our way of regulating the broadcasting industry.

“It is called a breach letter to the station to say ‘in this particular programme, you did not act professionally; you did not do it in line with the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code’.

“Like the letter sent to the station by the commission, its offence was that it interviewed someone of a proscribed organisation. The NBC now said because of that, this breach attracts a shutdown or a fine of N5 million. But the pay line was that they were advised to discontinue the programme.”

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