President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction Channels Television (TV) for allegedly breaching the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.
Tinubu in a petition dated March 30th signed by the Director, Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga made the demand where he accused the Labour Party (LP) Vice Presidential candidate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, of making several incendiary comments impugning the integrity of the Presidential elections during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.
“In line with Section 14.0.1 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code 6th edition stating the duty of the National Broadcasting Commission to accept complaints from aggrieved persons, bodies or members of the public and investigate as well as apply sanctions where necessary, the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council hereby petitions the Commission on what it considers breaches by CHANNELS TV last week on its programme ‘Politics Today’ which airs daily at 7pm on weekdays”, Tinubu petitioned.
“He (Datti) said the Labour Party won the elections. This is a fallacy and not correct. According to the Code, a Broadcaster is liable when his guest is allowed to make a wild statement that is inaccurate and not based on fact. The only factual figures empirically collated as the final result is the one released by the Independent National Electoral Commission which placed Labour party as third.
“The guest on the programme in question Datti Baba -Ahmed said the President of the country Muhammadu Buhari should not swear in the President -elect because he did not score 25% vote in the FCT, being one of the prerequisites for being declared winner. This is a subversive statement since the matter is before the tribunal and is among the issues submitted in their petition to the courts for adjudication. Therefore until and unless the court rules otherwise, the status quo is the INEC position as declared in the final results
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“The guest Datti Baba Ahmed’s comments about Labour Party winning the presidential vote undermines constituted authority given to INEC in the 1999 Constitution as the body vested with the powers to conduct and announce the results of national general elections in Nigeria. Any other figures will have to be certified by the tribunal as the authentic one.
“Therefore Mr Datti’s comments that the INEC certificate of return issued to the President-elect is a “dud cheque” and is null and void is not only divisive, subversive but also inciting and inflammatory.
“The Code states in Section 3.8.1(b) that ‘A Broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a Sovereign state’.
“The statement by Mr Datti Baba-Ahmed later on the same programme that if ‘President Buhari should hand over to the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu by May 29, that would be the end of democracy’ is another case of unguarded utterance,” the petition read.