Nigeria shuts down private TV, radio stations tied to opposition

accreditation
Radio station. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Radio station. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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 licence suspensions of AIT and RayPower FM "for failure to abide by the commission's directives and the provisions of the law".

"The shut down order is until further notice," the statement said.

The two broadcast stations are owned by a business tycoon Raymond Dokpesi, who is also a key member of opposition Peoples 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 Freedom Index.

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.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.82
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.76
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.71
+0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.16
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.4%
Gold
1,842.88
+0.0%
Silver
21.89
-0.1%
Palladium
2,017.94
+0.5%
Platinum
964.00
-0.3%
Brent Crude
112.04
+2.6%
Top 40
61,346
-0.6%
All Share
67,942
-0.5%
Resource 10
73,180
+2.6%
Industrial 25
73,166
-3.5%
Financial 15
15,846
+0.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE