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SERAP Threatens To Sue NBC For Suspending AIT, Ray Power

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has welcomed “the reported probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of the government of former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s $16 billion power project as an opportunity for the anti-graft agency to show that former heads of state and other high-ranking public officials are not immune from investigation and prosecution for allegations of grand corruption in Nigeria.”

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to sue the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over 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 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 terse statement on Twitter, SERAP said: “The NBC must immediately reverse its arbitrary decision to suspend AIT, Raypower or face legal action. This is censorship. The move is a serious blow to freedom of expression and Nigerians’ right to information about critical developments in the country,” the statement added.

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