AIT, Raypower back on air

African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM are back on air 24 hours after the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) suspended their licences over alleged violation of the regulatory body’s rule.

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The development comes after a federal high court in Abuja nullified the suspension of the licence of DAAR Communications, owners of AIT and Raypower FM.

The action of NBC had sparked an outrage across the nation, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describing it as an attempt to cage the media.

Inyang Ekwo, the judge who ordered the reopening of the stations, had summoned the NBC and ministry of information over the action against DAAR Communications.

While announcing the ban on Thursday, Modibbo Kawu, director-general of NBC, had said over the years, DAAR Communicaions turned itself into a “bad example” of how a professional broadcast outfit should not be run.

Kawu said the regulatory agency had been monitoring the stations for a long time and had issued warnings that were defied.

He said the stations did not see the need to exercise caution in the use of user generated content from the social media.

Kawu added that rather than take learning from the warning NBC issued, the stations took to the social media to display official correspondences.

Earlier on Thursday, Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications, had said there were plans to shut the station.

Dokpesi had led protesters to the UN office in Abuja and the British high commission in the nation’s capital to solicit for help.

“So we are here to appeal to the British High Commission, its officials and the British government to please assist and intervene to ensure that there is freedom of speech, that the Nigerian media is able to operate without any type of restraint,” he had said.

“I hear that already that the villa has already decided that this evening, AIT and Raypower will be shut down. They are most welcome.

“So we are here to really await the pressure, to await the state that will be taking for expressing our rights, we are here to say this should not happen in a democracy.”

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