Trust Television has been punished with a fine of five million naira by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over a documentary on banditry and terrorism in the north-western part of the country.
Trust TV is a media firm affiliated to Daily Trust newspaper. The documentary entitled ‘Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story’, in March was aired by the station.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye also released its own documentary — ‘The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara’ – recently.
Consequently, the federal government said both media outlets would be penalised for “glorifying terrorism”.
In a statement on Wednesday, the television network said the fine was conveyed in a letter dated August 3 and signed by Balarabe Shehu Illela, director-general of the NBC.
“The NBC, in a letter to our company dated August 3, 2022, which was signed by its Director General, Balarabe Shehu Illela, said the fine was imposed on Trust TV because its broadcast of the said documentary contravened sections of the National Broadcasting Code,” the statement reads.
“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.”