The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has ordered the suspension of the broadcast license of Human Rights Radio over alleged cases of assault by the founder and popular host of the Brekete Family Radio show, Ahmed Isah.
The commission said the suspension was in line with the sanction provisions in section 15.5.2 of the Broadcasting Code until the broadcaster commits to ethical and professional broadcasting.
Consequently, the popular radio station based in Abuja will go off the air on Monday May 31, 2021 at 12:00am when the suspension would become effective.
A statement made available to Daily Courier on Thursday personally signed by the acting director-general of NBC, Prof Armstrong Idachaba, said the commission earlier met with Isah, on Tuesday May 26, 2021 to allow him to explain the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident at his radio station where a lady called Susan was physically assaulted by the broadcaster for allegedly burning the hair of her little niece.
Idachaba said the commission has reviewed the events and noted the unreserved apologies and regrets expressed by the broadcaster also known as ‘Ordinary President’.
He, however, said that the action of the broadcaster was in clear violations of the Broadcasting Code and a betrayal of the confidence reposed in him by the people and Government of Nigeria on whose behalf he holds the radio license in trust.
Idachaba said, “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.”
He added 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.
Idachaba noted that 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 show especially.
“The commission has, therefore, in line with the sanction provisions in 15.5.2 of the Broadcasting Code, ordered the suspension of the 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 12.00 am.
“The order shall last 30 days during which it is expected that the broadcaster will put its house in order and attune itself to responsive, professional, and responsible broadcasting,” he said.
He said the station shall also pay a recommencement fee as provided for in section 15.5.1 of the Broadcasting Code at the end of the suspension period.
“The NBC appreciates 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 has a sacred duty to promote decency, professionalism, and respect for the dignity of all citizens by all Broadcasters in Nigeria,” the NBC boss added.