Popular current affairs programme of Vision FM, Idon Mikiya, has been suspended by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for six months.
This was conveyed in a letter signed by the NBC Director-General, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, and addressed to the Managing Director of Vision Media Service Limited.
The NBC said the decision was taken after monitoring a broadcast of Idon Mikiya programme on January 5 on both Vision FM and Farin Wata TV. The station said some discussions on the show, including appointments at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), breached section 39(3)(b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which imposes restrictions on matters concerning government security services or agencies established by law.
The suspension took effect from January 28 and it was also learnt that the station was fined N5m.
The letter read;
“Your discussion on issue, including appointments at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), constitutes a breach of the provision of section 39(3)(b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which imposes restrictions on matters concerning government security services or agencies established by law.
“Transmitting the trade secrets or other issues regarding a national security agency amounts to an act prejudicial to national security contrary to the above section cited.
“Recall that the commission has invited the management of Vision FM severally bothering on issues of balance, fairness and presenter bearing opinion, which are violations of the following Sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code”
Managing Director, Vision Media Services, Shuaibu Mungadi confirmed receiving the letter and also said the company had complied with the suspension order.
Mungadi however maintained that the station committed no infraction. He said;
“If you read the section in question, you’ll see that we’ve not violated any law. It was actually the NBC that violated the law, not Vision Media Services. So, there was no infraction anywhere”.
Commenting on the N5m fine, Mungadi added;
“I’m not sure we’ll meet the fine itself because Idon Mikiya is the programme that attracts clients that place advertisements, so much money is placed on that programme.
“So, if you suspend it, that means you already suspended our means of income. It’s the mainstay of our company and if suspended, it also negates the federal government’s claim that it’s trying to provide jobs because we have 7 radio stations with one TV station.
“If you close down these stations due this fine, definitely, hundreds of people will lose jobs, and I’m not sure we have the money for now.”