The National Broadcasting Commission has denied to sanction the coverage of the # EndSARS protest by Channels Television, Arise Television and African Independent Television.
The NBC imposed a fine of N3 m each on the broadcast stations in October, alleging that the media stations unethically reported the protest and have used unverifiable social media video footages to report the # EndSARS protests.
The move attracted public condemnation, including from a Human rights organisation, which condemned the regulatory agency for attempting to regulate the media.
Nigerians, civil society and media organisations were also taken to court by the Socio-Economic Justice and Transparency Programme, 261, which challenged the validity of the NBC fine.
Responding to a letter by Concerned Nigerians on the fine on the broadcast stations, the NBC denied sanctioning the media houses for covering the protest.
It claimed that it fined the media houses for transmitting unverified and unauthenticated contents from social media.
The NBC, in a letter by George Obi, Head, Legal of the commission said, “The commission is always cautious of the constitutional rights of citizens and the press under the constitution as a universal human rights and does not interfere with these rights.
“However, the sanctions imposed by the commission on Channels TV, Arise and AIT contained in the press release by the commission dated October 26, 2020 was for transmitting unverified and unauthenticated social media sources in breach of Section 5.6.9 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and not for covering the #EndSARS protest as alleged.”
The Concerned Nigerians group stated that it will no longer tolerate the bullying of media organisations in the country.
“Next will be constant visa ban petitions. They have been warned. No long stories,” the group added in response to the claim by the NBC