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#EndSARS: SERAP to sue NBC over N9m fined on AIT, Channel, Arise TV

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Social-Economic Rights and Accountability Projects (SERAP) has threatened to sue National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over illegal fines of N9m reportedly imposed on African Independent Television (AIT), Channel and Arise TV [N3m each] for coveraging of the #EndSARS protests.

SERAP disclosed this on its official social platform on Monday, while giving the Commission 48hours to rescind its unconstitutional fines, as the group said it is an action of another example of Nigerian authorities’ push to silence independent media and voices.

SERAP asked NBC to drop the fines and uphold Nigerian constitution and international obligations to respect and protect freedom of expression and media freedom, while the Commission to stop targeting and intimidating independent media and voices.

SERAP said, “The fines are detrimental to freedom of expression and the media, and access to information in Nigeria, and the NBC must withdraw the decision. Media freedom and media plurality are a central part of the effective exercise of freedom of expression and access to information.

“The ability to practice journalism free from undue interference, to cover peaceful protests, and critical views are crucial to the exercise of many other rights and freedoms. The media has a vital role to play as ‘public watchdog’ in imparting information of serious public concern and should not be inhibited or intimidated from playing that role.

Earlier, the National Broadcasting Commission NBC has fined the three station, Channels Television, AIT and Arise TV N3m each over their “unprofessional coverage” of the EndSARS protests and the crisis that followed it, as the NBC acting Director General, Prof Armstrong Idachaba announced the sanction at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.


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