By John Ikani
Trust Television Network (Trust TV) a television owned by Media Trust Group, has been fined N5 million by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over the broadcast of the documentary titled “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story”, which was aired by the station on the 5th of March, 2022.
The development comes just days after Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said Trust TV and BBC will be sanctioned over their documentaries on terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
The NBC, in a letter to Media Trust Group dated August 3, 2022 and 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.
Responding to the development, the management of Media Trust Group issued a statement noting that “it is 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 statement said.
It went on to note that: “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.
It said the documentary also brought to the fore the horrifying stories of victims of banditry.
See the documentary below