The Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has written a petition to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) against Arise Television and Channels Television for allegedly airing programmes to disparage its candidate, Bola Tinubu.
A spokesperson of the PCC, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement on Monday, said its Special Adviser, Media, Communications and Public Affairs, Dele Alake, authored the petition against the two media outfits.
According to Mr Onanuga, the petition, addressed to the Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah, seeks invocation of sanctions against the media houses over their reports on the 1993 money laundering and the drug-related case against Mr Tinubu.
Chicago drug case
A certified true copy of the over 30-year-old case resurfaced on the social media last week.
According to the document, on 10 January, 1992, Magistrate Judge Rosemond of the Northern District of Illinois granted the prayer for the seizure of funds in 10 bank accounts belonging to Mr Tinubu because the U.S. Government had reasons to believe the accounts were linked to narcotic related operations.
Mr Tinubu reportedly forfeited $460,000 to the U.S. Government after the settlement of the case.
Mr Alake, in the petition, said the two stations allowed guests on their shows to label Mr Tinubu as “indicted” despite the evidence available to them.
“The case in question, which did not indict our candidate, has since been overtaken by events after interrogation and correspondences between then Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun in 2003 and the United States government.
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“The US Justice Department in a letter dated 4th February, 2003, issued by the Lagos Consulate of the United States Embassy cleared our candidate. The letter was signed by Michael Bonner, the Consulate’s legal attache,” the petition reads in part.
Mr Alake said the media houses violated sections 3.3.1, 5.1.2, and 5.1.3 of the Code of the NBC.
He also stated that the publishing of a fake INEC letter is a violation of the NBC code.
Arise TV and some media outlets published a letter purportedly from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which stated that the electoral umpire is investigating the money laundering allegations against the presidential candidate of the APC.
INEC has denied the letter and Arise TV has since apologised for the report.
Mr Alake, however, said, “Notwithstanding the broadcast of the falsehood peddled by opposition elements, ARISE TV and Channels TV went ahead to transmit and circulate a fake letter insinuating that the Independent National Electoral Commission has initiated an investigation of the APC Presidential candidate premised on the fake letter in circulation.”
He asked that the stations be sanctioned in the name of justice.
“We hereby request the National Broadcasting Commission to sanction the offending stations in the name of justice and in the protection of the rights of our candidate as well as avoidance of future recurrence,” Mr Alake said.
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