Again, NBC warns broadcasters, threatens sanctions

With about six days to the governorship election in Edo State, the National Broadcasting Commission, on Monday, warned all broadcasters to adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, regulations and other extant laws.

On August 6, 2020, the organisation had warned broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used for contents that might lead to the breakdown of law and order in Edo State.

The NBC, in its latest statement issued by its Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Ekanem Antia, said it would not hesitate to sanction any broadcaster who contravened its regulations.

“In view of the upcoming governorship election in Edo State on Saturday, September 19, 2020, the National Broadcasting Commission wishes to again bring to the awareness of broadcasters, the essential provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Electoral Act regarding the coverage of elections and announcement of election results,” Antia stated.

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The NBC drew attention specifically, to Section 5.3.3 of the code, which stipulates that the broadcaster shall ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement, and any other form of partisan party identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.

The section also provides that while the broadcaster should not use any vote obtained at a polling station or from an exit poll to project or speculate on the chances of a candidate, he/she should relay election results or declaration of the winner only as announced by the authorised electoral officer for the election.

Antia said, “This is also as contained in the Electoral Act of the Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria. The commission, along with stakeholders, have been working towards a free and fair governorship election in Edo State and enjoins broadcasters to continue to perform their duties professionally in order to bring about a successful democratic process.

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“Nevertheless, the commission uses this opportunity to warn all broadcasters to adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, regulation and other extant Laws, as it will not hesitate to sanction any broadcaster that contravenes the above requirements.”

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