By Lillian Ogbonna (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former Vice President, has slammed the the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for imposing a N5 million fine on a Lagos-based radio state – 99.3 FM.
The Presidential candidate of the former ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, made this known in a signed statement on Thursday, in which he carpeted the allegations leveled against the radio station by the NBC, calling it an attempt to muzzle the press and kill free speech in the country.
According to Atiku, the NBC’s argument that the radio station, through the interview it granted the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia, gave room for the propagation of hate speech lacked merit, as the NBC did not possess the authority to impose a sanction for a comment made by an individual.
The former VP emphasized that since the former CBN Deputy Governor had been questioned by operatives of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) in their Jos Office and afterwards released, having found no cogent reason to detain him, the NBC’s action was just an attempt to make a scapegoat of the media platform.
Atiku called for an evaluation of the NBC’s Hate Speech Prohibition Code, as its interpretation was offensive to the idea of free speech.