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Instruct Lai Mohammed to withdraw sanction against Nigerian Info FM, SERAP tells Buhari

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THE Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently instruct Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture and the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to withdraw the “apparently illegal codes and memo threatening to sanction any broadcast that denigrates, disrespects, insults, and abuses president, governors, lawmakers, elders and leaders in authority.”

In a statement on Sunday, SERAP asked the president to tell  Mohammed and NBC to immediately rescind the fine of N5 million imposed on Nigeria Info 99.3 FM radio station.

The NBC had imposed a N5 million fine on the radio station following reported comments by Obadiah Malafia, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during an interview.

The group, however, urged the NBC and the Minister to use their offices to promote transparency and access to information.

“Rather than pushing to enforce a culture to respect president, govs, lawmakers, elders, leaders, Mr Muhammed and NBC should use their entrusted public office and mandates to promote a culture of public debate, access to information, transparency and accountability,” SERAP said.

It noted that nothing can be more destructive to people’s exercise of basic human rights, and to democratic politics than the suppression of the media, and media freedom, saying that
the alleged “cultural codes” are patently contrary to the public interests.

The group also urged the president to take measures to halt NBC and Mohammed’s decision within seven days or face legal actions

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“We would be grateful if the requested action and measures are taken within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you on the requests by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel you in the public interest.”

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'Niyi works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via noyedeji@icirnigeria.org. You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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