The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has fined Arise News a sum of two million Naira (2,000,000) over the fake news the channel broadcast on Saturday.
Arise News channel on Sunday apologized to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over a fake report that the Independent National Electoral Commission was investigating a case of criminal forfeiture against him.
Reacting to the development, NBC by its Director General, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah alleged the Television station of breaching the NBC code.
The letter reads, “The National Broadcasting Commission, on Saturday 12 November 2022 monitored the broadcast of a Press Release purportedly signed by Festus Okoye Esq, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The said Press Release alleged that INEC is investigating the use of forfeiture by a US Court against the Presidential Candidate of the APC, with a view to prosecution. The Press Release in reference has been tagged FAKE by INEC and the Organisation has also issued a counter Press Release to refute the story.
This is a most unfortunate breach of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and a gross display of unprofessionalism and insensitivity by your organization at this time of electioneering.
It would be recalled that the National Broadcasting Commission, between 19 and 26 of September 2022 went around the country to sensitize broadcasters and remind them of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Electoral Act as we count down to the 2023 General Elections. The Commission also underscored the need for broadcasters to double-check the veracity of any information especially those from Social Media. (User-Generated Content, UGC) Ref: Nigeria Broadcasting Code 5.6.5.
News is the most potent of all broadcasts and therefore the editorial responsibility of the broadcasters is sacrosanct. Every news item must be verified. And Section 5.0.1 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code provides that “News shall be presented as a truthful and accurate account of an event or phenomenon.
News requires the highest level of responsibility by practitioners in adhering to the most pristine of their professional ethics. This includes truthfulness, accuracy, fairness, objectivity, and impartiality.
Although your station has tendered an apology to the presidential candidate of the APC after the professional glitch, the Commission expects broadcasters to ensure at most professionalism as anything contrary may have grave consequences.
Consequently, pursuant to Section 5.1.3 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Arise TV hereby sanctioned and shall pay a penalty of 2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) within two weeks of receipt of this letter or sanction shall be graduated”.