The All Progressives Congress has petitioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction Arise News and Channels Television for broadcasting Bola Tinubu’s alleged drug deal.
Bayo Onanuga, the director, media and publicity of the APC presidential campaign council (PCC), announced this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said the council was asking NBC to sanction the two tv stations over their alleged “fake” reports on Mr Tinubu.
The petition was signed by the Special Adviser, Media, Communications and Public Affairs of the PCC, Dele Alake, and addressed to NBC’s director-general, Balarabe Ilelah.
Mr Onanuga quoted Mr Alake as saying that the purported indictment against Mr Tinubu, as reported and discussed on the television stations, had already been cleared in a correspondence between the then IG, late Tafa Balogun and the U.S. government.
He added that the continued broadcast of a non-existing indictment violated the NBC broadcast code.
“The case in question, which did not indict our candidate, has since been overtaken by events after interrogation and correspondences between then I-G Tafa Balogun in 2003 and the U.S. government.
“The U.S. Justice Department in a letter dated February 4, 2003, issued by the Lagos Consulate of the U.S. Embassy, cleared our candidate.
“The letter was signed by Michael Bonner, the Consulate’s legal attache,” Mr Onanuga said.
He said the council was surprised that Arise News and Channels Television, among others, went ahead to transmit and broadcast issues purportedly indicting Mr Tinubu in violation of section 3, 3 I of the NBC code.
Mr Onanuga said the council believed that the stations’ operators, by their professional standing, should have access to research platforms to verify the information before dishing it to the public.
The PCC also accused both stations of using the already cleared document in their interviews of Festus Keyamo and the spokesman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), respectively.
Mr Onanuga said both stations broadcast a fake letter in circulation, purportedly issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stating that the electoral body was investigating the APC presidential candidate.
This, the PCC said, was also against the NBC code, which forbids broadcasting fake news.
He said Arise television had reportedly been known to carry fake reports against Mr Tinubu and had admitted guilt to this in a broadcast a few days ago.
Mr Onanuga added that the events vilified and denigrated Mr Tinubu as an indicted offender and lawbreaker in the U.S.
He further added that to seek justice for the APC presidential candidate, the PCC asked NBC to invoke the appropriate sanctions against the offending television stations.
“We hereby request the NBC to sanction the offending stations in the name of justice and in the protection of the rights of our candidate as well as avoidance of future re-occurrence,” he added.
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