The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the indefinite suspension of the license of the African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power both belonging to Raymond Dokpesi.
Africa News24 (AN24) had reported earlier that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) suspended the licence of Dokpesi’s DAAR Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower “until further notice”.
NBC Director-General, Modibbo Kawu, announced the shut down at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday evening.
Kawu said the action was taken for failure of the stations to abide by the broadcasting code.
“Today the 6th of June, 2019, AIT/Raypower embarked on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government and, the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria,” he said.
“Consequently, after several meetings with management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning. The NBC, today 6th June 2019 took a decision to suspend the licence of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the Commission’s directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11. The SHUTDOWN order is until further notice.”
The NBC boss said the regulatory agency had been monitoring the stations for a long time and had issued warnings that were defied.
Reacting in a series of tweets, Abubakar said: “I am a lifelong Democrat and throughout my political life, I have championed the principles of Separation of Powers.
“The Legislature has been challenged. The Judiciary has been tackled.
“If at this time, we stand by as the Press loses its independence, there will be little to differentiate us from a dictatorship. This should not happen.”