Chairman of the Board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, has condemned the 6th National Broadcasting Code announced recently by the regulatory agency.
In a press conference on Thursday at Reno Hotel, Abuja, Bilbis said the new broadcast code is an illegality perpetrated by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed and the acting Director-General of the Agency, Armstrong Idachaba which he described as usurpation of powers.
“The suggestion was of the FEC members and was accepted by President Muhammadu Buhari, who gave a go-ahead for the review, which Bilbis said was misunderstood by Mohammed.
“Instead of studying and following the law, relevant rules and regulations, and direct the appropriate authorities as stipulated by the law to act on, he erroneously embarked on the review alone.
“The Minister has constantly dropped the name of President Muhammadu Buhari as having approved his own version of the code review. The NBC Code is a regulatory framework put together jointly by stakeholders to guide their operations in the industry. It is therefore not a unilateral government instrument and is already covered by law hence, not requiring any further presidential approval.
“This might be the reason why till date the Minister cannot show us a copy of the Presidential approval,” he said.
Criticisms have continued to trail the new broadcast code, part of which criminalizes hate speech and criticisms of government leaders.