Nigerian regulator the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has shut down the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service (ESBS).
The closure of the broadcaster comes just days after NBC fined ESBS a total of N500,000 (US$1,380) for breach of the Nigerian broadcasting code regarding the appointment of a political spokesman as acting director general.
According to NBC, it ordered the closure of the state’s broadcast service because, despite several warnings, ESBS aired the “unauthorised declaration of the governorship election results by the state governor Ayodele Fayose,” it said.
Fayose is said to have also made malicious comments against the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Nigerian Police and the Department of Security Services while on air. These acts forced NBC to shut down ESBS until further notice.
In a press release, NBC emphasised that broadcast stations should conduct “proper gate-keeping and professionalism in all programmes transmitted on their stations.” If these warnings are ignored, NBC is able to impose sanctions on organisations that breach the Nigeria broadcasting code.
NBC also stated that social media is not a recognised source or platform to announce election results. Thereby, broadcasters are expected to follow due process, acting according to the nation’s broadcasting code.