The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says Channels Television has apologised over its infraction of the broadcasting code.
NBC spokesperson Franca Aiyetan said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Channels TV got the strike for interviewing the spokesman for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a proscribed group, on live television.
Aiyetan explained that the commission’s letter to the TV station was a regulatory instrument to check the excesses of the station called “the bridge letter”.
She said that the intent of the letter was neither to close down nor sanction the station, rather it was meant to draw the station’s attention to its breach of the broadcasting code, adding that “the station has accordingly apologised’’.
According to her, the letter asked Channels TV to explain why it gave credence to an organisation that was already proscribed by the Federal Government.
“It was actually not for public consumption, it was not a press release. It was a regulatory instrument to check the excesses of the station,” she said.
“It is a station that won an award but we say in this particular situation, you did not handle it professionally.
“It is possible to bridge the public peace and that was what the letter conveyed to Channels TV, to which the TV station has responded, saying we apologise, we did wrong.
“When the media started asking me about Channels TV, I had to go and find out what letter we had issued out because if it is a press release or something that is for public consumption it will come to the public affairs department of NBC.
“And I will be able to communicate to the media about it but this letter that went to Channels TV is our way of regulating the broadcasting industry.
“It is called a bridge letter to the station to say in this particular programme you did not act professionally; you did not do it in line with the provision of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”
She added that in the exercise of its power as the regulatory body, NBC wrote a letter asking Channels TV to explain why it gave credence to the spokesman of the proscribed organisation.
“The spokesman made lots of allusion that were not true, that are inciting and inimical to the peace of the society that could cause unrest.
“The NBC now said because of that this bridge attracts a shut down or a fine of N5 million; but the pay line was that they were advised to discontinue the programme.”