Trust Television Network (Trust TV) has reacted to the N5 million fine imposed on it by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The NBC, in a letter dated August 3, 2022, which was signed by its Director General, Balarabe Shehu Illela, said the fine was imposed on Trust TV over the broadcast of a documentary titled “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story”, because it contravened sections of the National Broadcasting Code.
Reacting in a statement, the management of Media Trust Group said the company is currently weighing its options.
“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, Senator Saidu Mohammed Dansadau, who hails from one the worst hit communities in Zamfara State,” the statement said.
The statement added that other experts who 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.
There was an outrage after the Federal Government threatened to sanction media outlets over documentaries on banditry.
Renowned Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, had accused the government of attempting to blackmail media houses to cover its failure and divert public scrutiny into high level corruption in military spending and budgetary allocations.