ABUJA – Dr. Kayode Ajulo, a constitutional lawyer, has chided the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for its recent withdrawal of the licence of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power radio owned by DAAR Communications Limited.
A statement on Sunday by Ajulo, said the punishment meted out to the media outfits was harsh, gruesome and untoward considering the fact that there were other punishments that could be imposed by the commission to ensure the any erring media outfit conform to prescribed laws and regulations.
According to him, “While recognising the functions of the National Broadcasting Corporation as a regulatory agency, it is instructive to note that the measure meted by the NBC in the circumstance is gruesome and untoward considering the fact that there are other punishments that can be put in place by the commission to ensure the any erring media outfit confirm to prescribed laws and regulations.
“We must note the freedom of the press is guaranteed in developed nations and polity. It is of interest to know that by the provisions of section 23 of the Constitution, the press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people. See Sofekun v Akinyemi & Ors (1980) pg. 31 and Ardo v INEC & Ors (2017) pg. 63.
“I am of the view that the punishment meted by the National Broadcasting Commission was harsh, however, one of the remedies that avails AIT is to approach the court for reversal of any action taken by NBC and appropriate remedies.”
Ajulo, who is the national secretary of Forward With Buhari (FWD), noted that AIT is a product of the June 12 struggle, adding that it would be a disservice to democracy and nationalism as well as the image of Nigerian government for NBC to have withdrawn the licence of DAAR Communications on the eve of the grand celebration of June 12 as Nigeria Democracy Day.
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