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Nigerian Press Organisation resolves NBC, AIT face-off

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC ) and DAAR Communications Plc, owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM, have resolved their differences.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC ) and DAAR Communications Plc, owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM, have resolved their differences.

Nduka Obaigbena, president of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He said a meeting was convened for all parties to “resolve the issues in the national interest”.

NBC had recently suspended the Broadcast License of DAAR Communications Plc over alleged infractions. DAAR consequently went to court to challenge the action of the regulatory agency. The Court however ordered both parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case.

 

Read the full statement below:

NBC / AIT Faceoff Resolved

Following the suspension of the Broadcast License of DAAR Communications Plc., owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM by the National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC ), the President of the Nigerian Press Organisation ( NPO ) comprising of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria ( BON ), The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and The Nigerian Union of Journalists ( NUJ), convened a meeting of all parties to resolve the issues in the national interest.

The meeting hosted at 8PM, on Sunday 9th of June, 2019, by elders and patrons of NPO, Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua and Uncle Sam Amuka, had the following in attendance:

1. Ishaq Modibbo -Kawu – Director General & CEO, NBC;

2. High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, DAAR Communications Plc;

3. Raymond Dokpesi, jnr, Chairman of the Board, DAAR Communications PLC;

4. Mr Tony Akiotu, GMD, DAAR Communications Plc;

5. Mrs Tosin Dokpesi , MD, AIT;

6. Barrister Donatus Anopuo – Company Secretary DAAR Communications PLC;

7. Uncle Sam Amuka, Publisher, VANGUARD Group;

8. Mallam Ismaila Isa, Patron NPAN and

9. Nduka Obaigbena, President NPAN and President NPO.

At the meeting the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) restated their commitments to freedom of expression and the constitutionally guaranteed role of the media under sections 22 and 39 to hold governments accountable, which states amongst others that the press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media are to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in the 1999 constitution and ensure the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.

The NBC also raised concerns about the non-adherence of the DAAR Communications group (AIT/Ray Power) to the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, despite repeated interactions on same; the NBC then cited lack of editorial balance by DAAR Communications as well as the lingering issue of non-payment of national network license fees by DAAR Communications.

DAAR Communications Plc. defended its position saying it gives its team freedom to make editorial commentary on issues of the day relying on Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution guaranteeing freedom of Expression, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas without interference.

DAAR stated it had made some payments on account to the NBC but acknowledged that there were some defaults in the payment plan they submitted to the NBC, and explained that the defaults were due to decisions jointly reached at BON meetings by all broadcasters to engage and renegotiate the cost of license fees with NBC, in view of the current difficult economic realities affecting the industry. But the NBC insists that license fees are statutory and thus non-negotiable.

After an exhaustive dialogue, all parties RESOLVED as follows:

1. DAAR Communications Plc. will work out a new realistic payment plan with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and ensure prompt payments in accordance with the new plan;

2. DAAR Communications Plc. will appoint an Ombudsman to ensure balance in its news coverage especially political commentary; it will also take full editorial responsibility for the use of content sourced from social media outlets;

3. Following this NPO statement, The NBC will immediately lift the suspension of the broadcast license of DAAR Communications Plc;

4. DAAR Communications Plc. will withdraw its case in court, against the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and;

5. All parties will take necessary steps to work together to build confidence in the public interest.

 

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THE NEWS

Tribunal sack: Dino Melaye reacts, says no cause for alarm

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The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Dino Melaye, has reacted to the nullification of his victory in the March 22 election and ordering of a fresh election by the Kogi West National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Lokoja on Friday.

Melaye, in a statememt, said the judgment is a miscarriage of justice and therefore, no cause of alarm.

The PDP chieftain further said that his legal team was already studying the judgement, adding that he would appeal it.

He said he was confident that the Appeal Court would upturn the judgement of the lower tribunal.

According to him, the judgement was full of importation of information that was alien to the case.

Melaye said, “I, however, commend the courage and moral strength of the chairman of the tribunal for resisting evil and standing on the part of justice?”

“I have confidence in the Appeal Court to right the wrongs as contained in the pronouncements of the judgement.”

He added, “I also want to tell those jubilating that their jubilation will be short-lived while appealing to my teeming supporters to remain calm as their mandate is safe and secure and cannot be taken through any mischievous means.

“However, our legal team is already working on appealing the judgment and I assure all that justice will prevail.”

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BREAKING: Tribunal sacks Dino Melaye as Kogi west senator

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has quashed the victory of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial district.

Melaye (PDP) was declared winner in the February election by INEC but Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC) approached the tribunal, challenging INEC declaration on three grounds of irregularities, over voting and non compliance with the electoral acts.

The three man panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke in a unanimous judgment on Friday accepted Adeyemi’s ground and order for reelection into the senatorial axis.

…More details shortly

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THE NEWS

Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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