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#EndSARS: Tension as NBC Receives 48-hour Ultimatum to Withdraw Fines Slammed on Arise, AIT, Channels TV

KINGSPARO.COM earlier reported that National Broadcasting Commission fined Channels TV, AIT and Arise TV, N3m each over what they call "unprofessional coverage" of the EndSARS protests and the crisis that followed it like killing at the Lekki Toll gate, looting of warehouses, hoodlums attacks and many more incidents.

Reacting to the fine, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in a statement by its Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare condemns the sanction says its another action Nigerian authorities’ push to silence independent media and voices.

"This is a new low in Nigeria’s protection of freedom of expression, and the ability of independent media to function in the country. The fines are detrimental to media freedom, and access to information and the NBC must immediately 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 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.”

SERAP gave NBC 48hrs ultimatum to drop fined slammed on the above TV's else they will be sued. 

"NBC should drop the fines and uphold the 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 We will sue the NBC if the unconstitutional fines are not rescinded within 48 hours."

SERAP asked givet o caution the NBC to stop intimidating and harassing independent media houses.

The body said authorities must respect the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international human rights obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

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