The Muhammadu Buhari-led administration through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has imposed a fine of N5 million on Trust Television Network (Trust TV).
HausaToday reports that the NBC fined the television station over the broadcast of the documentary titled “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story”, which was aired by the station on the 5th of March, 2022.
In a statement to newsmen on Wednesday, Trust TV management stated that it was still studying the Commission’s action and weighing up their options.
The media organisation disclosed that the fine was communicated to the firm in a letter signed by the NBC Director General, Balarabe Shehu Illela.
Trust TV further said, “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 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.”
Recall that the BBC on Monday also published a 50-minute documentary titled ‘The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara’, which captures the booming kidnap-for-ransom industry and other terrorist activities.
In the documentary, the BBC interviewed a bandit leader who confessed that they bought more weapons with the N60 million ransom paid by the Federal Government for the release of schoolgirls abducted at the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe town in Zamfara State in February 2021.
Ado Aleru, a notorious Fulani gang leader who is wanted by the Katsina Police for leading a massacre in the village of Kadisau in June 2020 was also interviewed.
Reacting to the documentary, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, threatened that the Federal Government would sanction the media outlets in due time.
Mohammed had accused the news platforms of glorifying bandits and terrorists with their documentaries and showing the faces of terrorists as if they are Nollywood stars.