Inside Story of why NBC queried Channels TV over controversial interview with Governor Ortom

National Broadcasting Commission and Channels TV

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) wrote the Sunrise Daily Crew of Channels TV on Tuesday, August 26 over inciting comments made by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom who was a guest of the show anchored by Chamberlain Usoh.

This was disclosed in a notice of infraction signed by the Commission’s Director-General, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, and addressed to the television station.

Ilelah alleged that Ortom made “inciting, divisive and unfair comments” which were not thoroughly interrogated by the anchors highlighting sections from the NBC code which the interview contravened.

The letter reads: “The National Broadcasting Commission monitored the broadcast of your programme Sunrise Daily between 7 am and 9 am on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.

“The programme which had as a guest, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom was observed to contain inciting, divisive and unfair comments which were not thoroughly interrogated by the anchors. These negate the following provisions of the Broadcasting code:

“Section 1.10.4: The broadcaster shall ensure that its Presenter ….shall handle it with professionalism and sound judgment to ensure that it does not lose focus or lead to unfair treatment or institution.

“Section 3.1.1: No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain offensive reference or organization alive or dead.

“Section 3.1.1(b): the broadcaster shall ensure that all sides to any issue of public interest are equitably presented for fairness and balance.

“Section 3.11.1(a): the broadcaster shall ensure that language…likely to encourage or incite to crime or lead to disorder is not broadcast. Section 3.12.2: the broadcaster shall not transmit a program that incites or likely to incite to violence, among the populace, causing mass panic, political and social upheaval, security breach and general social disorder.

“Consequently, Channels Television is required to explain why appropriate sanctions should not be applied for these infractions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. Your response should reach the Commission within 24 hours of receipt of this letter.”

Olawunmi, a professor of Global Security Studies, said he was a member of the Intelligence Brief at Defence Headquarters during the leadership of the then Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin.

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