The Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) petitioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Monday, demanding sanctions against Arise TV and Channels Television for airing the report.
Specifically, the APC’s demand was made in a petition signed by the Special Adviser on Media, Communications, and Public Affairs of the PCC, Dele Alake.
Equally important, it was addressed to the Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah.
He said, “The case in question, which did not indict our candidate, has since been overtaken by events after interrogation and correspondences between the then Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, in 2003 and the United States government.
“The US Justice Department in a letter dated February 4, 2003, issued by the Lagos Consulate of the United States Embassy cleared our candidate. The letter was signed by Michael Bonner, the Consulate’s legal attaché.
“The Campaign Council was therefore surprised that certain media houses, such as ARISE News and Channels TV among others; went ahead to transmit and broadcast issues purportedly indicting our candidate in violation of section 3,3 I of the Code; which says that; ‘The Broadcaster shall ensure that any information given in a programme in whatever form is accurate.
“We believe that the operators of the stations, by their professional standing, should have access to research platforms to verify the information before dishing it to the public,” the petition partly read.
Alake further accused both stations of using the already cleared document in their interviews of Festus Keyamo; as well as spokesman for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), respectively.
The petition stated that both stations went further to broadcast a fake letter in circulation; purportedly issued by INEC, stating that the electoral body was investigating Tinubu.
“Notwithstanding the broadcast of the falsehood peddled by opposition elements; Arise TV and Channels TV went ahead to transmit and circulate a fake letter insinuating that INEC had initiated an investigation of the APC presidential candidate premised on the fake letter in circulation.
“Section 5.1.2 states that the broadcaster shall present news as factual and incorrect and fair manner without distortion; exaggerations or misrepresentation while Section 5.1.3 further states that ‘fake news is prohibited.’
“The fake INEC letter has been proven to be fake and this breach is tantamount to disinformation.
“Arise TV has admitted guilt to this in a broadcast a few days ago. We make bold to say that in 2014, the AIT transmitted a TV documentary “The Lion of Bourdillon” to which NBC sanctioned it and it apologized to the victim.
“However, only last week, a chieftain of the PDP, Chief Bode George, in an interview on Arise TV; referred to materials from the documentary to vilify our presidential candidate; in breach of the code and the apology granted the victim.
“These breaches attract a sanction of Class B. We implore NBC to invoke the aforementioned sections to penalize Arise TV and Channels TV for breach of the broadcast code. Section 5.3.3 of the code states that; “The Broadcaster shall (b); in using political materials for news and current affairs programmes; avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NBC on Monday fined Arise TV N2m for breaching the broadcasting code; for airing fake reports about the presidential candidate of the APC Ahmed Bola Tinubu.