The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has sanctioned no fewer than 25 stations for failing to adhere to extant broadcast law on coverage of the 2023 general elections.
The commission also issued a final warning to 16 other broadcast stations.
This was made known by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) director-general, Balarabe Ilelah at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ilelah stated that 25 stations were sanctioned by NBC in the course of monitoring the 2023 presidential election, while 16 stations have been given a final warning.
The NBC boss said one station was sanctioned for broadcasting the results of the election before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the results which contravened section 5.33 of the NBC code.
He explained that some of the stations allowed their platforms to be used by guests, callers, and analysts to score unhealthy political points inimical to the country’s corporate existence.
He cautioned broadcast stations to be professional in the discharge of their duties.
“Seventeen stations received sanctions for the broadcast of partisan content during the 24 hours prior to the election.
“One station was sanctioned for announcing results before authorised returning officers made them public, while three stations were sanctioned for inciting comments.
“Four stations were sanctioned for divisive, ethnic and religious content, while 16 stations were given final warnings for various infringements,’’ he said.
Ilelah cautioned broadcasters against the violation of the code during the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections coming up on March 18.
“The commission re-emphasises that as the gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly elections approach, all broadcasters must adhere strictly to the provisions of the code.
“They must also adhere to the National Broadcasting Act CAP N11 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
“The code admonishes broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a political campaign, jingle, announcement, and any other form of partisan identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.
“It states that any vote obtained at a polling station or from an exit poll should not be used to project or speculate on the chances of a candidate.
“Very importantly, it states that election results or declaration of the winner can only be made by the authorised electoral officer for the election.
“Broadcasters shall be responsible for the content of the station’s broadcast,’’ Ilelah said.
He commended the media for the very positive role they play in society, particularly in the democratic process and in national development.