The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, on Friday issued a final warning to Arise Television over what it called the use of derogatory and incendiary remarks on its programmes.
In a warning letter dated October 6, 2023, and signed by NBC’s Director-General, Dr Balarabe Ilelah, the Commission urged the TV station to install a delay mechanism to avoid unwanted content.
The warning comes eight months after the Commission fined Arise TV N2m for breaching Nigeria’s broadcasting codes.
Illelah’s letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Arise Global Media Limited, is titled “Preponderance of derogatory and incendiary remarks: final warning”.
It read in part, “The NBC has observed with concern preponderance of incendiary remarks allowed on Arise news. This letter seeks to underscore the tremendous responsibility put on the broadcaster to manage the array of guests that may feature on the station from time to time.
“The commission listed the station’s morning show programme on October 5 anchored by Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Ayo Maio-Ese, which featured Oladokun Hassan and Dele Farotimi as guests.
“The programme contained unguarded incendiary remarks by Dele Farotimi against the Legislature and the Executive, the Judiciary and Mr. President.”
The NBC also accused Arise TV of defaulting on its responsibility while airing its Newsday programme which featured the Spokesperson of the Labour Party, Kenneth Okonkwo, who, it said, used derogatory remarks on air.
“The commission therefore drew the attention of the broadcast station to broadcast rule and code 1.10.3, 3.3.1(a), 3.3.3(c), 3.3.1 (e), 5.3.3(b) and 5.5.6.
“Arise TV is advised to install a delay mechanism to guard against undesirable contents as prescribed in section 5.5.6 of the broadcasting code,” the letter read.
On February 3, 2023, NBC fined Arise TV N2m for “unprofessional broadcasts”.
Listing the broadcasts, the letter wrote, “On January 24, 2023, between 1: 00 pm – 2: 27pm, Arise TV aired the Presidential campaign rally of PDP which was held in Delta State, replete with unfair remarks and mockery of the APC presidential candidate by Dino Melaye.
“Mr. Melaye sang a song ‘…hand dey shake, leg dey shake, baba wey no well, e dey shout emilokan’ he further went on to fall down demonstrating the frailty of the APC presidential candidate.”
It argued that Arise TV did not only air the programme but repeated the clip of Dino Melaye in a mockery of the APC Presidential candidate in another programme anchored by Ojy Okpe What’s Trending.
“On January 26, 2023, at 9: 40 am, during the programme Morning Show, a guest, Na’jaatu Muhammed described the Presidential Candidate of APC, Bola Tinubu as mentally deranged without caution from the anchor. The guest had a field day with vituperations against the presidential candidate of the APC.
“On January 31, 2023, at 3:30 pm, during the broadcast of the PDP presidential rally in Sokoto State, Dino Melaye referred to the Vice-Presidential candidate of APC, Kashim Shettima as GCOB, meaning Grand Commander of Bandits.
“Consequently, pursuant to the aforementioned Sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, Arise TV is hereby sanctioned and shall pay a penalty of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira Only),” the letter read.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.