The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has fined Trust TV, owned by Media Trust Ltd., N5million over the broadcast of the documentary on banditry in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had given indication of the fine in an interview with journalists in Abuja, that the Federal Government was going to fine the media house and the BBC for alleged unprofessional documentaries, where interviews were granted to bandit warlords and terror gangs, thereby promoting terrorism in the country.
On Wednesday, the management of Trust TV in a statement issued disclosed that it had been fined N5 million in a letter signed by the NBC Director-General, Balarabe Shehu Illela.
The documentary aired by Trust TV on March 5, 2022, was titled, ‘Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story’.
“While we are currently studying the Commission’s action and weighing our options, we wish to state unequivocally that as a television station, we believe we were acting in the public interest by shedding light on the thorny issue of banditry and how it is affecting millions of citizens of our country,” the statement read.
“The documentary traces the root of the communal tensions and systemic inadequacies which led to the armed conflict that is setting the stage for another grand humanitarian crisis in Nigeria.
“It presents insights into the intersection of injustice, ethnicity and bad governance as drivers of the conflict.
“It also aggregates voices of experts and key actors towards finding solutions, including those of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and Senator Saidu Mohammed Dansadau, who hails from one the worst-hit communities in Zamfara State.
“Other experts featured in the documentary include scholars like Professor Abubakar Saddique of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufai of the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, who have both studied the subject of banditry for a long period.
“The documentary also brought to the fore the horrifying stories of victims of banditry,” the statement partly read.