Saturday, October 16, 2021

NBC suspends Human Rights Radio over ‘recurring unprofessional conduct’

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has suspended the licence of Ahmad Isah’s Human Rights Radio for “recurring unprofessional conduct”.

Mr Isah, known as Ordinary President, was captured in a new BBC Africa Eye documentary slapping a woman who allegedly set a young girl’s hair on fire over a witchcraft allegation.

She reportedly tied the girl’s hands and legs, poured kerosene on her head and ignited fire.

Although Mr Isah, had apologised for his action, the NBC summoned him to explain the circumstances behind the incident.

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Issuing a statement on Thursday, the NBC said it met with the Brekete Family show host on May 26, and “has reviewed the events and notes unreserved apologies and regrets expressed by the broadcaster”.

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According to the commission, the action was in clear violation of the broadcasting code and a betrayal of confidence placed on him by the people and the Federal Government.

The NBC, therefore, suspended the station’s licence for 30 days, effective from May 31.

“It is important to state that the commission has, over the years, advised, cautioned, warned, and fined the station over repeated cases of outright abuse, denigrating remarks, intimidation, and flagrant abuse of ethics of the fairness, balance, fair hearing on the station,” the statement reads.

“It is also on record that the commission had conducted several training and retraining programmes for the station and the host of the Brekete Family programme especially.

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“The commission has therefore in line with the sanction provisions in 15.5.2 of the broadcasting code, ordered the suspension of licence of the broadcaster, until the broadcaster commits to ethical and professional broadcasting. The suspension order is effective from Monday the 31st of May 2021, at 12am.

“The order shall last 30 days during which it is expected that the broadcaster will put its house in order and attune itself to responsive, professional, and responsible broadcasting.

“It shall also pay a recommencement fee of as provided for in section 15.5.1 of the broadcasting code at the end of the suspension period.”

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