Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project(SERAP), non-partisan, legal and advocacy organization in Nigeria has “condemned the unconstitutional and illegal fines of N3m each reportedly imposed by the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] on Channels TV, AIT and Arise TV purportedly over their coverage of the #EndSARS protests.
SERAP Nigeria in a statement made available by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare pronounced its readiness to battle for justice and pledged to sue the National Broadcasting Commission only if the fines are not rescinded withing 48 hours as Primus Media gathered.
It could be vividly recalled on Monday when the acting Director-General of the NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, announced at a press conference in Abuja that the agency has fined Channels Television, Arise Television and Africa Independent Television for what it termed “unprofessional coverage” of the #EndSARS protests.
According to the body, “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. We will sue the NBC if the unconstitutional fines are not rescinded within 48 hours.”
“Media freedom and media plurality are a central part of the effective exercise of freedom of expression and access to information. 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.
SERAP Nigeria devoted to promoting transparency, accountability and respect for socio-economic rights in Nigeria is therefore standing in gap for the fined media houses as we hope justice shall prevail over the matter.