The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has flayed the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, for its indefinite suspension of the operational license of AIT/RAY POWER Communications which has led to the outright closure of the media outfit.
In a press release issued by the anti-graft organization’s Coordinator for Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, on behalf of its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “We note, with bated caution and guided response, the indefinite suspension of the operational license of AIT/RAY POWER Media outfit, leading to its closure yesterday. We have carefully listened to and read reasons advanced for this unfortunate and avoidable action by the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, for its action ranging from the accusation of the media outfit ‘operating more like social media by airing hate speech, divisive and inciting comments, etc., on its programmes that discuss national issues in breach of certain provisions of the NBC Act and Broadcasting Code.’ They were also accused of ‘not paying their license fees as and when due as well as the accusation of the owner and Founder of the outfit ‘creating the habit of using the media outfit to fight his personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the Law.’ It also cited many instances where management of the media outfit had been cautioned on its style of operations without any sign of conscious efforts at rectifying same.
“In different vein, the management of the affected media outfit, led by Chief Raymond Dokpesi, has refuted and denied almost all the allegations too by insisting that the management under him, ‘has sought an audience with the NBC DG by calling, texting and sending letters which were all rebuffed as he simply refused to allow any meetings with him by the organization’s management.’ He also decried what he termed ‘an exorbitant yearly renewal fee that is one of the highest in the world’. It is against this backdrop of information that CACOL as an anti-corruption and Open Leadership coalition, clearly condemns an outright clampdown on the operations of the entire media outfit since the supposedly ‘inciting and reckless broadcasts’ were limited to threads aired on the Political Platform and KAKAAKI. This is why we believe that even if there should be any sanctions against the observed security or operational lapses of the media group, such should have been restricted to the identified programmes or better still take the media outfit to court for professional and ethical breaches.”
The CACOL boss added, “The beauty of it all is that management of Daar Communications, the owner and management of both AIT/RAY POWER media outfit has gone to court and supposedly secured relief from the shutdown of the outfit. We advise the NBC and the Federal Government to respect the decision and pronouncement of the Judiciary on this ill-advised closure even if it would take other measures to rectify observed lapses while we implore the management of AIT/RAY POWER media outfit to also be more circumspect and ensure strict adherence to global best practices of its reputable workers in its media fold.”
“Meanwhile, on another note, CACOL hails the decision of the Justice Folashade Ogunbayo-Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to decline the release of the international passports of the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd., Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, both of who are in trial over their complicity in N2.5 (Two Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira) Digital Switch-Over (DSO) Fraud, to enable them travel to the United Kingdom (UK) for an unnamed Conference. The duo is standing trial with the Director General (DG) of NBC, Ishaq Moddibo Kawu in the alleged Fraud. The Anti-graft organization, therefore, calls on Mr Kawu and the other accomplices not to employ any undue tactics to delay or subvert the cause of justice over these monumental corruption allegations, but instead, they should demonstrate the urge and enthusiasm to clear their names and reputation if indeed they were innocent of those allegations.”