Obi-datti: Tinubu Petitions NBC, Wants Channels TV Sanctioned
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the incoming president, has petitioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction Channels Television for allegedly violating the Nigerian Broadcasting Code during an interview with Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
In a petition dated 30 March 2023 and signed by Bayo Onanuga, director of media and publicity for the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign council, the president-elect stated:
“In accordance with Section 14.0.1 of the 6th edition of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, which states that it is the responsibility of the National Broadcasting Commission to accept complaints from aggrieved persons, bodies, or members of the public and investigate as well as apply sanctions when necessary, the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council hereby petitions the Commission on what it considers to be breaches by CHANNELS TV last week on its programme ‘Politics Today’ which
The former governor of Lagos State has accused Baba-Ahmed of disparaging the 25 February 2023 presidential elections on multiple occasions. In the interview, Datti criticised Tinubu’s election as president-elect and demanded that President Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria refuse to swear him in.
Tinubu stated in his petition that the host of the show should have cautioned the Labour party candidate for making such unguarded remarks, and that the station should be punished for failing to do so.
Tinubu Petitions NBC, Wants Channels TV Sanctioned
The petition reads in part
“According to him (Datti), the Labour Party won the election. This argument is fallacious and incorrect. According to the Code, a Broadcaster is liable if he permits his guest to make a false and unfounded statement. The Independent National Electoral Commission released the only empirically compiled facts as the final result, which placed the Labour Party third.
Datti Baba-Ahmed, a guest on the aforementioned programme, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari should not swear in the President-elect because he did not receive 25% of the vote in the FCT, one of the requirements for being declared the winner. This is a subversive statement given that the matter is currently before the tribunal and is among the issues raised in their court petition. Therefore, until the court rules otherwise, the status quo is the INEC position as declared in the final results, unless the court rules otherwise.
The comments made by the guest Datti Baba Ahmed about the Labour Party winning the presidential election undermine the constitutional authority granted to INEC in Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as the body with the authority to conduct and announce the results of national general elections. Any additional figures must be certified by the tribunal as authentic.
Mr. Datti’s remark that the INEC certificate of return issued to the President-elect is a “bad check” and therefore invalid is not only divisive, subversive, and inciting, but also provocative and incendiary.
Section 3.8.1(b) of the Code states, “A Broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything that amounts to subversion of constituted authority or threatens the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Mr. Datti Baba-statement Ahmed’s that if President Buhari handed over power to President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu by May 29, it would be the end of democracy is another example of an unguarded utterance.
This violates Section 5.3.3(b), which states: “A Broadcaster shall avoid inflammatory and divisive matters in their provocative form when using political content.”
In addition, Section 188.8.131.52 states: ‘No Broadcaster shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hatred, or be repugnant to public feelings’ This refers to content that is deemed offensive to the public.
By contesting the authenticity of the INEC Presidential election results, Mr. Datti is free to seek their nullification, but until a court or tribunal overturns them, they remain authentic. Channels TV cannot encourage him to use its platform to promote anarchy by allowing him to dispute results on air without verifying his claims.
In asking the President not to swear in the President-elect, he undermines the constitutionally guaranteed authority of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
By using phrases such as “handing over to President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be the end of democracy,” he is not only promoting a threat, but also inciting an uprising against the government. This is contrary to the use of the media to promote social harmony and peaceful coexistence.
We are of the opinion that the guest Datti Baba-Ahmed was not only provocative, but also incited the general public and Labour Party supporters to question the legitimacy of the election results and promote resistance against the incoming administration. pertaining to Bola Ahmed-Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.
We therefore urge the Commission to impose the appropriate sanctions on Channels TV for the aforementioned violations.”
Thanks for using our platform to learn about the latest Naija News on Tinubu Petitions NBC, Wants Channels TV Sanctioned