A civil society organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has threatened to sue the National Broadcasting Commission over a query the latter issued to Channels Television after an interview session with the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.

SERAP, in a post on its Twitter handle on Thursday, urged the NBC to withdraw the query within 24 hours, failure of which will attract a lawsuit.

The tweet reads, “BREAKING: We’re suing to end the harassment of Channels TV simply for carrying out its professional duties, if the unlawful NBC query issued to the station is not withdrawn within 24 hours.

“Channels TV is reportedly queried for interviewing the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.”

SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the NBC summoned the presenters of Sun Rise Daily, a breakfast show on Channels Television over some recent interviews perceived to be critical of the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The summons by the NBC may not be unconnected to the utterances made by some guests brought to the programme on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They included the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and a former Nigerian Navy officer, Commodore Kunle Olawunmi (retd.).

Olawunmi had said Boko Haram terrorists mentioned names of current governors, senators and Aso Rock officials as sponsors during interrogation by the military authorities.

He, however, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government failed to demonstrate the necessary political will to go after the high-profile politicians for reasons best known to it.

Olawunmi, a professor of Global Security Studies, said he was a member of the Intelligence Brief at Defence Headquarters during the leadership of the then Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin.

According to him, the government had not been able to prosecute the sponsors because it was allegedly partisan.

He added that the Department of State Services had tremendous information on terrorists but they could not do anything except by the body language of the Commander-In-Chief.

Also, SaharaReporters obtained a notice of infraction signed by the Commission's Director-General, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, addressed to the television station over Ortom's interview.

Ilelah alleged that Ortom made “inciting, divisive and unfair comments” which were not thoroughly interrogated by the anchors highlighting sections from the NBC code which the interview contravened. 

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