NBC Fines Radio Station 5 million, over Discussion on NIA Boss Reappointment

The National Broadcasting Commission has sanctioned an Abuja-based radio station, Vision FM, for discussing the controversial extension of the appointment of the National Intelligence Agency’s Director-General, Rufai Abubakar.

In a letter addressed to Vision FM’s Managing Director on Wednesday in Kaduna, the NBC claimed it sanctioned the broadcasting outfit for airing content harmful to the country’s national security in one of its programmes, ‘Idon Mikiya’ on January 5, 2022.

NBC pointed out that the station breached section 39 (3) (b) of the 1999 constitution that imposed restrictions on issues relating to government security services or agencies.

“Your discussion of issues, including appointments of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) constitutes a breach of the provision of section 39 (3) (b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which imposes restrictions on matters concerning government security services or agencies established by law,” the Nigerian broadcasting regulator stated.

The commission fined the media outlet N5 million and suspended the programme for six months, starting from January 28, 2022.

It claimed that transmitting trade secrets and other issues regarding a national security agency was an act prejudicial to Nigeria’s national security.

This development came amid Buhari regime’s continued attempt to muzzle Nigerian media.

Riot Act to broadcast stations
In December, the president extended the tenure of Mr Rufai as the DG of NIA, despite internal protests against his reappointment.

Top NIA officials queried the appointment of Mr Rufai in 2018. They complained about his competence, nationality, and the motive behind his appointment.

The extension of Mr Rufai’s appointment took effect from January 10, 2022, the same day he was first appointed the NIA boss in 2018.

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