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JUST IN: SERAP Slams NBC Over Fines On Channels, Arise TV, AIT

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By Daniel Dafe
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has slammed the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for sanctioning three major broadcast stations over their roles in covering the EndSARS protests.

The regulators had fined Arise TV, African Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television between N2 million and N3million.

Describing the fines as illegal, SERAP threatened to sue NBC if the unconstitutional fines are not rescinded within 48 hours.

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In a statement, the group added: “This action by the NBC is yet another example of Nigerian authorities’ push to silence independent media and voices. The NBC should drop the fines and uphold Nigerian constitution and international obligations to respect and protect freedom of expression and media freedom.

“The fines are detrimental to freedom of expression and the media, and access to information in Nigeria, and the NBC must withdraw the decision.

“Media freedom and media plurality are a central part of the effective exercise of freedom of expression and access to information.”

The group continued: “The ability to practice journalism free from undue interference, to cover peaceful protests, and critical views are crucial to the exercise of many other rights and freedoms.

“The media has a vital role to play as ‘public watchdog’ in imparting information of serious public concern and should not be inhibited or intimidated from playing that role.

“The NBC should stop targeting and intimidating independent media and voices.”

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