The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State (BSES) the sum of N500,000.00 (five hundred thousand naira) for denial of access, professional misconduct and lack of respect for ethic of the broadcasting code.
The NBC also cautioned the leadership of the broadcasting house – Ekiti FM and EKTV for broadcasting the hate documentary on the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A statement signed by the commission’s Director/Head, Public Affairs, Alhaji Awwalu Salihu, in Abuja, said the station, under the leadership of one Lere Olayinka, was found guilty of some contraventions including breaches of the rules on the broadcast of sponsored campaign materials, during the last general elections.
The National Broadcasting Commission had earlier indicted the management of BSES, owners of Ekiti FM Radio and Ekiti Television (EKTV); African Independent Television (AIT) and the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) for the airing of a documentary which maligned the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari and Tinubu.
The statement said that BSES, NTA breached the sensibilities rules while AIT and NTA both breached the rules on airing sponsored materials.
It could be recalled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, in February, petitioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), calling the attention of the regulatory body to acts of unprofessionalism and abuses at the radio and television stations of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State (BSES) as being encouraged and perpetrated by Governor Ayodele Fayose’s administration.
The APC State Secretary, Paul Omotoso, in the petition, dated February 15, 2015, and made available to www.upshotreportsonline.com, the party pointed NBC’s attention to the poor quality control mechanism arising from poor staffing at the leadership cadre of the two stations.
Accoding to Omotosho, “We have discovered that the core professionals that can advise on the quality control mechanism of the two stations have been sidelined in favour of Governor Ayodele Fayose’s cronies who do not have requisite qualification to hold their positions.
“For instance, apart from the avalanche of contract staff that were hired on the basis of partisan solidarity, the Acting Director General of BSES, Mr Lere Olayinka, has never practised in any reputable newsroom of any print or electronic media anywhere across the country. At best, he is a political journalist without any basic grounding in media practice and he is often used by politicians to malign innocent opponents.”
He said Olayinka’s lack of requisite qualifications to hold his position is having adverse effects on quality programming and professional touch in the running of both the radio and television stations at BSES.
The APC spokesman urged NBC to apply its standard to ensure and promote ethics and professionalism in the sensitive profession of electronic communication at BSES.
While urging NBC to investigate Olayinka’s qualification, he pointed the agency’s attention to various abuses arising from political partisanship and unprofessional conduct at the two stations.
He listed alleged directive by Governor Fayose to ban all APC adverts and jingles that were fully paid for in the stations while Olayinka had turned the stations to his boss’ megaphone to malign senior citizens and political opponents.
“The stations in one of their news bulletins in November 2014 accused the Chief Judge, Mr. Justice Ayodeji Daramola, of collecting N200 million bribe from APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to influence the judge sitting on Fayose’s eligibility case to rule against him. About the same time, allegation that the 19 APC members of the House of Assembly demanded N135m from the governor was also broadcast on the stations. All these were without evidence,” Olatubosun explained.
He added that in another news bulletin, the same Chief Judge was accused of collecting N20 million from Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration to prevent Fayose’s inauguration, noting that in January 2015, the stations broadcast accusation that Fayemi donated N1.5 billion to Buhari/ Osinbajo Campaign Organisation without any proof. He added: “The stations also accused Dr. Fayemi of an attempt to transfer N950 million from a bank in Ghana but which the Ghana Central Bank stopped. These are all lies aimed at denting the image of these decent Ekiti citizens. The BSES through Olayinka is in the habit of copying social media gossips and giving them to be broadcast in the stations’ news bulletins,” the petition concluded.