National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has slammed the management of Trust Television Network (Trust TV), with a fine of N5 million for showing a documentary on banditry.
Trust TV aired the documentary, titled “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story”, on March 5, 2022, for which they have now been fined.
Trust TV, was slammed with a fined for doing the job it set out as a media organisation, to do by conducting an investigation into the root cause of banditry in the country and creating a fantastic documentary out of the result of the investigations conducted in order to inform Nigerians on reasons why banditry has become this successful in the country called Nigeria.
According to a letter from NBC, to our company dated August 3, 2022, which was signed by its Director General, Balarabe Shehu Illela, it was said the fine was imposed on Trust TV because it showed a documentary on banditry. This action contravened some sections of the National Broadcasting Code.
The management of Media Trust Group, has however reacted saying, “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 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 for a long period. The documentary also brought to the fore the horrifying stories of victims of banditry.