The National Broadcasting Commission has come down heavily on the Human Rights Radio based in Abuja with one month suspension of its operating license with effect from Monday the 31st of May 2021, at 12.00 am for recurring unprofessional conduct.
Within the period of suspension which shall last for 30 days the NBC said the station is expected to put its house in order and accustom itself to responsive, professional and responsible broadcasting.
The regulator also imposed a fine of N5 million on the station as provided for in section 15.5.1 of the Broadcasting Code at the end of the suspension period.
Ahmed Isah who is known as “Ordinary President” was caught on video which has gone viral slapping an interviewee in one of his programmes.
In a statement issued after a meeting between the Commission and the owner of the station, Ahmed Isah, who is also the host of Berekete Family Show, NBC noted that the action of the broadcaster is in clear violations of the Broadcasting Code and a betrayal of the confidence reposed on him by the people and Government of Nigeria on whose behalf he holds the radio license in trust.
The Commission observed that it reviewed the events of the unreserved apologies and regrets expressed by the broadcaster
According to the regulatory body, “Section 0.1.1.2.1 of the Broadcasting Code provides in the Social Objectives of Broadcasting that Broadcasting shall – ‘promote generally accepted social values and norms, especially civic and social responsibilities; and encourage respect for the dignity of man’.
“It also provides that broadcasting organisations shall recognize that they exercise freedom of expression as agents of society, not for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of their own or of their proprietors, relatives, friends or supporters”.
“It is important to state that the Commission has over the years, advised, cautioned, warned and fined the station over repeated cases of outright abuse, denigrating remarks, intimidation and flagrant abuse of ethics of fairness, balance and fair hearing on the station. It is also on record that the Commission had conducted several training and retraining programmes for the station and the host of the Brekete family programme especially.
“The Commission has therefore in line with the sanction provisions in 15.5.2 of the Broadcasting Code, ordered the suspension of license of the broadcaster until the broadcaster commits to ethical and professional broadcasting.
The suspension order is effective Monday the 31st of May 2021, at 12.00am.
The NBC acknowledged the popularity of the station and the fact that it has in many cases tuned its programming to the yearnings of the people.
The Commission however said it has a sacred duty to promote decency, professionalism and respect for the dignity of all citizens by all Broadcasters in Nigeria.