Edo, Ondo elections: NBC releases 8 guidelines for political broadcasts

Edo, Ondo elections: NBC releases 8 guidelines for political broadcasts

- NBC has reeled out eight guidelines for political broadcasts on Edo and Ondo elections

- The guidelines mandate broadcast stations not to commercialise political news

- The guidelines were issued hours after NBC fined a radio station with 5 million over alleged hate speech promotion

Barely 24 hours after slamming a popular radion station with N5 million fine over the alleged promotion of hate speech and unverified claims, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has reeled-out eight guidelines for political broadcast on Edo, Ondo elections.

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Legit.ng recalls that NBC created a furore after issuing a fine on Nigeria Info 99.3FM, a popular radio station in Lagos state.

Coming on the heels of a comment made by a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Obadiah Mailafia, NBC said it was concerned with "the unprofessional conduct of the radio station in the handling of the Programme, “Morning Cross Fire."

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Mailafia, while speaking on the radio on August 10, 2020, had claimed that a governor is contributing to the festering insecurity in the country by providing financial and moral support for the Boko Haram terrorists and bandits.

In a subsequent development, NBC has warned broadcasting stations against using their platforms to promote violence-inciting political jingles.

Edo, Ondo elections: NBC releases 8 guidelines for political broadcasts
NBC releases 8 guidelines for political broadcasts on Edo, Ondo elections. Credit: Twitter (NBCgov).
Source: UGC

NBC gave the warnings in the wake of the fast-approaching governorship election in Edo and Ondo states.

The elections in the state have been scheduled to hold in September and October 2020 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) respectively.

Here are the guidelines released by NBC based on the Section 5.3.3 of the commission:

1. Ensure that the broadcast of a partisan politicians campaign, jingle, announcement, and any other form of partisan party identification or symbol ends not later than twenty- four hours before polling days;

2. Do not use any vote obtained at a polling station or from an exit poll, to project or speculate on the chances of a candidate;

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3. Relay election results or declaration of the winner only as announced by the authorised electoral officer for the election;

4. Set up a Standing Electoral Complaints Committee to resolve all disputes within 24 hours of receipts of the Complaint;

5. Forward the Committee's Report in Section 5.3.3 (m) to the Commission within 48 hours;

6. The Broadcaster shall implement the appropriate decisions, including the grant of a Right of Reply or demand for Apology, within 24 hours, and at the same level of prominence;

7. Do not commercialize Political News;

8. Do not broadcast political jingles exceeding 60 seconds.

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Meanwhile, Femi Falana, a leading legal luminary, has condemned the N5 million fine imposed on a Lagos-based radio station by the NBC over alleged promotion of hate speech.

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Falana described the fine as illegal and further added that the amended code under which the radio station was sanction has not got a solid legal backing.

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