Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect, has requested that Channels Television be penalized by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for violating the Nigerian Broadcasting Code during an interview with Labour Party vice presidential nominee Datti Baba Ahmed.
“In line with Section 14.0.1 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code 6th edition stating the duty of the commission to accept complaints from aggrieved persons, bodies, or members of the public and investigate as well as apply sanctions where necessary, the APC PCC hereby petitions the commission on the breach,” Tinubu said in the petition signed by the Director of Media and Publicity for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential campaign council, dated March 30, 2023.
Baba Ahmed was accused by Tinubu of disparaging the credibility of the presidential election on February 25, 2023, in a number of remarks. In the interview, he criticized the election of the former governor of Lagos as president-elect and unequivocally asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria not to swear in the candidate.
In his petition, Tinubu stated that the show’s host should have warned Datti about making such unguarded remarks and that the channel should be penalized as a result.
The petition states that “the guest on the disputed show, Datti Baba-Ahmed, said President Muhammadu Buhari should not swear in the President-elect because he did not receive 25% of the vote in the FCT, which was a requirement for being declared the victor. This is a subversive remark considering that it is one of the matters raised in their appeal to the tribunal for resolution. The INEC position as stated in the final results is therefore the status quo until the court decides otherwise.
“The remarks made by the guest, Datti Baba Ahmed, regarding the victory of the LP in the presidential vote, undercut the authority granted to INEC in the 1999 Constitution as the body vested with the authority to hold and announce the results of the national general elections in Nigeria. Regardless of the numbers, a court must certify that this is the real deal.
“Mr. Datti’s claims that the INEC certificate of return given to Tinubu is a “dud cheque” and is therefore invalid are therefore not only inflammatory and divisive but also inciting and subversive.
According to Section 3.8.1(b) of the Code, “A Broadcaster shall ensure that no program includes anything that constitutes subversion of constituted authority or threatens the unity or corporate survival of the nation as a Sovereign state.
In violation of Section 5.3.3(b), which states that “A Broadcaster shall avoid divisive and inflammatory matters in its provocative form in using political material,” Mr. Datti said later on the same program that “President Buhari should hand over to the President-elect by 29th May, that would be the end of democracy.
“Additionally, Section 18.104.22.168 stated that no Broadcaster shall promote or instigate criminal activity, promote public disorder or hatred, or distribute materials that are offensive to the general public.
“Therefore, we implore NBC to impose the appropriate penalties on Channels Television for the violations listed above.