Sequel to his threats on Monday to sue the African Independent Television for airing a documentary he said was defamatory, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has asked National Broadcasting Commission to sanction the television station for violating the broadcasting code.
In a petition addressed to the Director General of the NBC, Mr. Tinubu said the one-hour documentary “violates the rules and regulations guiding such political adverts particularly during an electioneering year”.
“The said documentary is offensive, derogatory, unethical, destructive, and politically motivated to serve the interest of the anonymous ‘sponsor’,” the letter sent through Mr. Tinubu’s solicitors, Olatunji Abayomi & Co stated.
“You may wish to particularly note that although AIT wrote “sponsored” when broadcasting the documentary, it never during or after the broadcast revealed the “sponsors”, an indication that AIT had something to hide.”
He argued that by airing the documentary, AIT violated paragraphs 3.1.1, 3.4.2, 3.4.5 and paragraphs 5.2.1 – 5.2.22 of National Broadcasting Commission Code.
Paragraph 3.1.1 of the national broadcasting code reads:
“The broadcast or rebroadcast of any content shall be only with the express permission of the rights owner. Piracy is prohibited.”
Paragraph 3.4.2 of the code reads: All sides to an issue shall be equitably presented preferably in the same broadcast.
Paragraph 3.4.5 of the broadcasting code requires that all programmes shall comply with laws relating to piracy, copyright, to privacy, sedition, libel, etc.
While paragraphs 5.2.1 – 5.2.22 of the broadcasting code deals with the rules of airing political programmes.
“Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu was not running for any political office warranting undue attention to his life affairs, consequently we wonder the motive of the diligent desire of Africa Independent Television (AIT) to destroy his achievement and reputation,” the letter stated.
“AIT has failed to follow and obey rules and regulations guiding such content. We demand that the NBC enforces its regulations by first restraining the AIT and any other media organisations from producing or reproducing in any form of defamatory publication especially the documentary titled, ‘Lion of Bourdilon’.”
In his letter to Daar Communications, owners of AIT, Mr. Tinubu demanded that the company retract the publication and issue a public apology. He also asked the company to pay N20 billion for damage done to his reputation.