Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to urgently withdraw the ‘last warning’ and threat to revoke the licenses of broadcast stations and shut them down over their coverage of elections and post-election matters.”
NBC said they will revoke the licenses of broadcast stations and shut them down last week.
“We will shut down broadcast stations if they allow individuals on their platforms to make utterances that are subversive, hateful, and inciting, and negative conversations particularly in the post-2023 Presidential Election.”
In a letter dated 11 March, 2023 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said, “The ‘last warning’ and threat by the NBC if not immediately withdrawn would limit freedom of expression and the ability of broadcast stations to cover important issues around the 2023 general elections.”
According to SERAP, “Threatening to shut down and revoke the licences of broadcast stations simply for carrying out their ‘watchdog role’ is clearly incompatible with Nigeria’s constitutional and international human rights obligations.”
The letter, read in part: “Political expression is a fundamental right. The threat by the NBC creates a significant risk that legitimate expression may be prohibited.”