Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined Channels Television £13,000 ($9,300) for airing an interview with a banned group, which breached the broadcast code.

It also suspended one the station’s popular shows, Politics Today, which did the interview.

“The commission referred to Channels 7.00 pm live broadcast programme of Sunday, 25 April 2021, in which it accused the TV station of allowing a leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, (Ipob) to make secessionist and inciting declarations on air without caution or reprimand by the station,” the Vanguard newspaper website said.

Ipob campaigns for independence for Nigeria’s south-eastern region, where the ethnic Igbo people form the majority. It is outlawed in Nigeria, which labelled it a terrorist organisation in 2017.

In a statement signed by Acting Director General Prof Armstrong Idachaba, NBC also accused Channels TV of allowing the leader to make derogatory, false and misleading statements about the Nigerian army, the Daily Nigerian news website reported.

On Saturday, security forces killed Commander Ikonso Don and six other militia members of Ipob’s armed wing, the Eastern Security Network, during an early morning raid on their hideout in the southern Imo State.

In October last year, Channels TV was one of three privately owned television stations that were fined by NBC for “unprofessional coverage” of the EndSars protests against police brutality and the crisis that followed.


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