Barely some hours after its licence was suspended by the National Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, DAAR Communications’ African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower are back on air.
The commencement of operations followed the verdict of a Federal High Court which nullified the suspension of the licence of the broadcasting company.
While ordering the reopening of the stations under DAAR Communications, the judge, Inyang Ekwo, summoned the NBC and Ministry of Information over the suspension of the company’s licence.
NBC shut down the stations on Thursday.
According to the Director-General of NBC, Modibbo Kawu, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on the issue, the licence was suspended following the failure of the organisation to obey broadcasting rules.
He said the action became necessary after the organisation refused to heed warnings that had been issued at different times.
“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 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. The SHUT DOWN order is until further notice.”
Kawu stated further: “In one of our meetings, held on 2nd June, 2017, the Commission expressed its disappointment with the way and manner Hate Speech, divisive and inciting comments are applied in discussion of national issues in breach of the provisions of the NBC Act and Broadcast Code.
“Again, on 15th August, 2017, it became imperative to invite the company for yet another meeting on almost same issues. Furthermore, while addressing another meeting on 7th February, 2018 we highlighted issues of concern to the Commission which indicated that the company had been breaching the provisions of Sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of the broadcast Code. The company’s delegates in their response promised to abate the breaches and comply with the law.
“However, on October 18, 2018, the Commission was disturbed with the manner in which social media issues became part of the mainstream media unedited on AIT/Raypower, and was constrained to issue a generic letter to all broadcast stations on.”
Earlier on Thursday, the founder of DAAR Communication, Raymond Dokpesi, during a press conference, accused the Presidency of attacking his organisation in different ways.
Speaking at the press conference held at the headquarters of the company in Abuja, Dokpesi said the attacks included imposition of fines unduly by the NBC and the demolition of part of its property.