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Daily Courier – The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Wednesday fines Vision FM, an Abuja based radio station for airing content described as ‘Harmful to the country’s national security’

The comment was allegedly made on air on the 5th of January 2022 by the station in one of its programme christened ‘I don Mikiya’ where it allegedly discussed the controversial extension of the appointment of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director General, Rufai Abubakar and his alleged incompetence.

In a letter addressed to the station Managing Director on Wednesday, NBC claimed it sanctioned the broadcasting outfit for airing content harmful to the country’s national security.

In December, the station reportedly accused FG of extending the tenure of Mr Rufai as the DG of NIA despite internal protests against his reappointment.

The letter reads partly: “Your discussion of issues, including appointments of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) constitutes a breach of the provision of section 39 (3) (b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which imposes restrictions on matters concerning government security services or agencies established by law,” the Nigerian broadcasting regulator stated.

The commission fined the media outlet N5 million and suspended the programme for six months, starting from January 28, 2022.

While confirming the development in a chat with this medium, a staff of the broadcasting medium who refused to be named told this medium that the station has been sanctioned.

It will be recalled that in 2020, the Presidency had through its lawyers appealed the reinstatement of former Acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Mohammed Dauda, by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

Dauda was allegedly dismissed on March 6, 2018, over corruption allegations.

Consequently, the former NIA boss dragged the Federal Government to court to demand his reinstatement, and the National Industrial Court granted his prayer with N1 million compensation against the defendant.

In an originating summons filed through his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) and marked NICN/ABJ/136/2018, Dauda had asked the court to determine whether the procedure adopted by the defendants in the case leading to his purported dismissal was in compliance with Article 8(1) and (2) of the National Securities Agency Act (CAPS 278) 1986. He also asked the court to determine whether the purported letter dismissing him issued on March 6, 2018, was not unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

The former acting NIA boss equally asked the court to reinstate him as director and order for the payment of his salaries and other entitlements from the date of his unlawful dismissal to the date of his reinstatement.

Meanwhile “government’s lawyers have filed a notice of appeal and stay of execution of the judgment, arguing that “the issue surrounding this case is a national security matter and will not be taken lightly.”

Agabi had recently called on the Federal Government to stop interfering with pending proceedings in the appeal filed by Dauda, where he is challenging his removal and dismissal.

Agabi, who is the counsel to Dauda, made the request in a letter dated January 1, 2022, sent to the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Department of State Service.