NBC, Daar settle dispute
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has resolved its dispute with Daar Communications, the owner of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM.
The NBC has lifted the suspension of Daar’s broadcast licence, while the media group has withdrawn its court case against the commission.
The dispute was resolved via a meeting attended by Daar founder Raymond Dokpesi and and NBC director-general Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu, as well as Nduka Obaigbena, president of the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN); Ismaila Funtua, former president of NPAN; and Sam Amuka, publisher of the Vanguard newspaper.
The NBC had suspended Daar’s licence over breaches of its Nigeria Broadcasting Code. It also accused the company of a lack of editorial balance and said it had failed to pay licence fees.
Daar had countered that its editorial team was free to comment on the issues of the day under section 39 of the Nigerian constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas without interference.
To resolve the dispute, Daar agreed to work out a realistic licence payment plan with the NBC and to appoint an ombudsman to ensure balance in its news coverage, especially when it comes to political commentary. It also pledged to take full editorial responsibility for the use of content sourced from social media.