JUST IN: Lai Moh’d Fulfils Threat As NBC Slaps N5m Fine On Daily Trust
Despite condemnation of his threat to sanction Daily Trust’s television arm, Trust TV, the Federal Government has imposed a N5 million fine on the TV station for airing a documentary on the activities of terrorists/bandits in the North.
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Information Minister, had accused the TV station of “naked glorification of terrorism and banditry in Nigeria” and threatened to sanction the medium.
Mohammed had also threatened sanctions against the BBC over a separate documentary in which the British broadcaster interviewed leaders of terrorist and bandit groups in the North.
“When otherwise reputable platforms like BBC give their platform to terrorists, showing their faces as if they’re Nollywood stars . . . I want to assure them that they won’t get away with it, the appropriate sanctions will be meted,” the minister had said.
The management of Trust Television Network (Trust TV), in a statement on Tuesday, confirmed that the minister had made good his threat.
“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,” said the medium.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) had threatened to take “all appropriate legal actions” against the Federal Government should it go ahead with is threat to sanction the BBC and Daily Trust.