APC Campaign Council seeks sanction against Arise, Channels TV over alleged fake broadcast on Tinubu
APC presidential campaign council(PCC) has petitioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), asking for sanctions against Arise News and Channels Television Stations.
Mr Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media and Publicity of the council announced this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said the council was asking NBC to sanction the two tv stations over their fake reports on the APC 2023 presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the petition was signed by the Special Adviser, Media, Communications and Public Affairs of the PCC, Mr Dele Alake, addressed to the Director-General, Balarabe Ilelah.
Onanuga said that both television stations were accused of breaching broadcast codes with their actions.
It quoted Alake as saying that the purported indictment against Tinubu as reported and discussed on the television stations had already been cleared in a correspondence between the then I-G, late Tafa Balogun and the US government.
He added that continued broadcast of a non-existing indictment therefore, violated the NBC broadcast code.
“The case in question, which did not indict our candidate, has since been overtaken by events after interrogation and correspondences between then I-G Tafa Balogun in 2003 and the U.S government.
“The U.S Justice Department in a letter dated Feb. 4, 2003, issued by the Lagos Consulate of the U. S Embassy cleared our candidate.
“The letter was signed by Michael Bonner, the Consulate’s legal attache,” Onanuga said.
He said the council was therefore surprised that Arise News and Channels Television, among others, went ahead to transmit and broadcast issues purportedly indicting Tinubu in violation of section 3,3 I of the NBC code.
Onanuga said the council believed that the operators of the stations, by their professional standing, should have access to research platforms to verify information before dishing it to the public.
The PCC also accused both stations of using the already cleared document in their interviews of Festus Keyamo and spokesman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), respectively.
Onanuga said both stations went further to broadcast a fake letter in circulation, purportedly issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stating that the electoral body was investigating Tinubu.
This, the PCC said was also against the NBC code, which forbids broadcasting fake news.
“Notwithstanding the broadcast of the falsehood peddled by opposition elements.
“Arise and Channels TV went ahead to transmit and circulate a fake letter insinuating that INEC has initiated an investigation of the APC presidential candidate premised on the fake letter in circulation,”Onanuga said.
He added that the fake INEC letter had been proven to be fake, saying that this breach was tantamount to disinformation.
He said Arise television had reportedly been known to carry fake reports against Tinubu, and had admitted guilt to this in a broadcast few days ago.
Onanuga said: “We make bold to say that in 2014, the AIT transmitted a television documentary: The Lion of Bourdillon, to which the NBC sanctioned it and it apologised to the victim.
“However, only last week, Chief Bode George, a chieftain of the PDP in an interview on Arise TV referred to materials from the documentary to vilify our presidential candidate in breach of NBC code and the apology granted the victim.
“These breaches attract a sanction of Class B and we implore the NBC to invoke the afore mentioned sections to penalise Arise and Channels Television for breach of the broadcast code.”
The PCC said that: section 5.3.3 of the code states: “The Broadcaster shall in using political materials for news and current affairs programmes avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.”
Onanuga added that the events vilified and denigrated Tinubu as an indicted offender and law breaker in the U.S.
He further added that as a matter of seeking justice for the APC presidential candidate, the PCC was asking the NBC to invoke the appropriate sanctions against the offending television stations.
“We hereby request the NBC to sanction the offending stations in the name of justice and in protection of the rights of our candidate as well as avoidance of future re-occurrence,” he added.