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NBC Suspends Human Rights Radio Over Violations of Broadcasting Code

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has suspended the license of Human Rights Radio, over violations of the Broadcasting Code and unethical behaviour of Ahmad Isah, the owner of the radio station.

The acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba disclosed this in a statement yesterday after the commission met with Mr Ahmad Isah, who also doubles as the host of Berekete Family Show, a programme on the radio station, as he was caught on video assaulting an interviewee.

 Prof. Armstrong stressed that the suspension order would take effect on Monday, May 31 at 12 a.m and would last for 30 days, after which the station would pay a recommencement fee of N5 million, as provided for in Section 15.5.1 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

Hours after the NBC issued a statement summoning the human rights activist, another video of him assaulting a young man emerged.

In the video published by Sahara Reporters on Wednesday, Isah was seen assaulting a young man because he wrote some people’s names in a list without his permission.

Meanwhile, the NBC had explained that it invited Isah to know the circumstances surrounding the situation that prompted him to slap his first victim, a woman who set fire on a child

“Where rather than promoting human rights and human dignity, a citizen who was invited to the programme was physically assaulted by the broadcaster.

“NBC has reviewed the events and notes the unreserved apologies and regrets expressed by the broadcaster,” Idachaba said.

But on Thursday, the NBC in a statement said the action of the broadcaster was in clear violation of the broadcasting code.

The statement reads, “The Commission states, however, that the action of the broadcaster is in clear violation of the Broadcasting Code and a betrayal of the confidence reposed on him by the people and Government of Nigeria on whose behalf he holds the radio license in trust.

“Section 0.1.1.2.1 of the Broadcasting Code provides in the Social Objectives of Broadcasting that Broadcasting shall — ‘promote generally accepted social values and norms, especially civic and social responsibilities; and encourage respect for the dignity of man’.

It also provides that broadcasting organisations shall recognize that they exercise freedom of expression as agents of society, not for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of their own or of their proprietors, relatives, friends or supporters.

The NBC further said Isah’s broadcasting license was suspended in line with the sanction provisions in 15.5.2 of the Broadcasting Code.

“The order shall last 30 days during which it is expected that the broadcaster will put its house in order and attune itself to responsive, professional and responsible broadcasting. It shall also pay a recommencement fee as provided for in section 15.5.1 of the Broadcasting Code at the end of the suspension period,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Isah had apologised to the National Broadcasting Commission, saying he would be more professional in his conduct and broadcast.

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