The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has fined a couple of television stations in Nigeria for their "unprofessional coverage" of the #EndSARS protests, AIT reports.

The street marches called for police reforms and for an end to widespread police brutality.

The protests lasted two weeks in Nigeria and were largely peaceful, until soldiers shot at unarmed protesters in the Lekki area of Lagos on October 20, 2020.

The penalised television stations are Africa Independent Television (AIT), Arise TV and Channels.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba at the unveiling ceremony of the amended Broadcasting Code in Lagos. [NAN]
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Acting Director-General of NBC, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba at the unveiling ceremony of the amended Broadcasting Code in Lagos. [NAN]

According to the regulator NBC, the television stations are being fined for a gross violation of the broadcast code, which includes the use of unverifiable footage sourced from the social media.

Section 5.6.2 of the NBC code states that: "the broadcaster shall approach with restraints, the use of materials from user generated sources in order not to embarrass individuals, organisations, governments or cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society at large."

According to the Acting Director-General of the commission, Armstrong Idachaba, the television stations will cough out fines of no less than N2 million each.

Idachaba adds that this should serve as a last warning for the broadcasters before heavier sanctions are meted out.