The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) announced on Saturday through its official Twitter handle that it will be suing Buhari’s administration and the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) over what it terms the “arbitrary and unlawful fine of N5 million imposed on Channels Television.”
SERAP, a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing transparency, accountability, and the protection of economic and social rights in Nigeria, said that the fine on Channels Television was a clear infringement on press freedom and a violation of Nigerians’ freedom of speech.
Read also: Tinubu asks NBC to Sanction Channels TV over interview with Datti Baba Ahmed
NBC had fined Yusuf Ahmed-Datti, the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party, over comments it terms capable of inciting violence and overheating the already charged socio-political situation in the country.
Ahmed-Datti had some weeks ago called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria not to swear in the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), because according to him, Tinubu failed to meet the minimum condition laid down by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be declared the winner.
Ahmed-Datti had said, among several things, that Tinubu didn’t win 25 percent of the votes cast in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and his victory was marred by several electoral flaws.
NBC had, before the February 25 and March 28 elections, asked broadcast stations to desist from campaigns, messages, and interviews that were inciteful and a clear violation of the broadcast rules.
Apparently, SERAP sees this fine as an infringement of press freedom and a clear indication of what is to come in the administration of the president-elect.
BREAKING: We’re suing the Buhari administration and NBC over the arbitrary and unlawful fine of N5 million imposed on Channels TV for a recent interview with Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) April 1, 2023