Opposition party member and business tycoon
Raymond Dokpesi accuses presidency of intimidation, crackdown on his media.
Nigeria’s broadcasting authority shut down private radio and
television stations owned by a key opposition figure who hours earlier said his
media operations were being targeted in a crackdown.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said on Thursday
it suspended the license of Daar Communications Plc, owner of the African
Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower FM for breach of broadcast codes.
NBC said in a statement it summoned the management of the
stations to address alleged bias in their broadcasts and for failing to meet
financial obligations to the regulatory authority.
The statement alleged the media organisations had “embarked on use of
inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts and media propaganda against the
government and the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the
broadcast industry in Nigeria”.
‘Until further notice’
NBC said it made the license suspensions of AIT and RayPower FM “for
failure to abide by the commission’s directives and the provisions of the
“The shut down order is until further notice,” the statement said.
The two broadcast stations are owned by business tycoon Raymond Dokpesi, who
is also a key member of opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Dokpesi earlier on Thursday accused NBC of intimidating his media empire on
the instruction of the Nigerian presidency.
“We are on a road previously travelled. A media and press clampdown is
in the offing,” Dokpesi said hours before the suspension of his licence at
a news conference.
Dokpesi established RayPower FM as a pioneering private radio in 1994 and
AIT in 1998.
Reporters Without Borders places Nigeria 119th out of 180 on its World Press
The media watchdog said journalists are often threatened, subjected to
physical violence, or denied access to information by government officials,
police, and sometimes the public itself
rious charge of second-degree murder with intent to kill.