SERAP urges Buhari to prevail on NBC to lift suspension of AIT/Raypower
Perturbed by the suspension of the African Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower FM by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday urged President Buhari to prevail on NBC to immediately end the suspension.
The rights body also wants the president to strengthen the independence of the NBC, if the country’s constitutional and international legal commitments to freedom of expression, media freedom and access to information are not to be undermined.
NBC had in a statement accused AIT/Raypower of embarking “on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts and media propaganda against the government” and failing “to meet financial obligations to the regulatory authority.”
But SERAP in a statement by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare said they are considering legal options to challenge the blatant illegality as the suspension amounts to unnecessary interference with media freedom. “The NBC ought to show independence in the exercise of its statutory powers and if allowed to stand, this suspension may be perceived as a threat to restrict the media, and open the door to limitations on expression and media operations.
This would be entirely inconsistent with constitutional provisions and international law, and undermine the government’s commitment to fight corruption.”