The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revealed why it suspended the operating licence of DAAR Communications PLC, owner of AIT, Star FM and Faaji until further notice.
At a news briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital, the commission said the reason for the decision included alleged inability to pay the license renewal fees, hate speeches, as well as using and allowing the station to be used for selfish political ends.
Speaking on Thursday, the Director General of the NBC, Dr. Modibbo Kawu said the decision was based on the violation of the broadcasting code by the stations which is backed by provisions of Section 10 of the Third Schedule of the NBC Act Cap N11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
It could be recalled that owner of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi had earlier in the day embarked on a protest against what he called the undue intimidation and interference of the NBC Director General, Dr. Modibbo Kawu.
Kawu added that in their relationship with the NBC, Daar Communications carried on, as if it is beyond the regulatory direction of the Commission, even when they didn’t pay their licence fees as and when due.
Kawu also pointed that the revocation of the AIT license was principally linked to the issues regarding the operations of AIT/Raypower, particularly, Political Platform and Kakaaki aired on AIT.
He also revealed that on 15th August, 2017, the commission invited the company for yet another meeting on almost same issues which is breaching the provisions of Sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of the broadcast Code and the company’s delegates in their response promised to abate the breaches and comply with the law.
‘‘Recently, the Commission’s monitoring reports on AIT/Raypower indicate the use of divisive comments accredited to the segment of “Kakaaki”, tagged, “Kakaaki Social”, where inciting comments like, “Nigeria is cursed, we declare independent state of Niger Delta”, “Nigeria irritates me”, “this country is gradually Islamizing” and other similar slogans are used without editorial control in breach of the broadcast Code. We were therefore constrained to issue Daar Communication letters of warning dated May 27th, 2019.
‘We also observed from monitoring reports that a documentary on the Presidential Election Tribunal, a pending election petition matter aired on AIT on Wednesday and Thursday, 22nd and 23rd May, 2019 without regard to the provisions of the Broadcast Code. The Commission, in line with its regulatory powers, again cautioned AIT in another letter also dated 27th May, 2019.
‘‘However, instead of making amends, the management of Daar Communications Plc resorted to the use of media propaganda against the regulator. Even the letters from the NBC were posted on social media platforms. Needless to state that Daar Communications have over the years turned themselves into a bad example of how a professional broadcast outfit should not be run,” he added.
Apart from not paying their licence fees as and when due., Modibo said its broadcast is patently partisan and one sided and deliberately inciting and heating the polity.
“The management of the Company has created the habit of using the channel to fight its personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the law.’
‘‘Today the 6th of June, 2019, AIT/Rapower embarked on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government and, the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria.
‘‘Consequently, after several meetings with the management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning. The NBC, today 6th June, 2019 took a decision to suspend the licence of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the Commission’s directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”