Nigeria: Broadcaster Shut Down After Deadlocked Nigeria Election

Kayode Fayemi

Abuja — Authorities have closed down a radio and television broadcaster in the aftermath of a disputed by-election held in Nigeria last weekend.

The closure of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State (BSES) comes after outgoing governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Sunday went on air to declare victory for his deputy, and fellow People's Democratic Party (PDP) member, Kolapo Eleka, as his successor.

A day later, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Kayode Fayemi, the All Progressives Congress (ACP) candidate , the winner of the governorship election.

Eleka and the PDP have rejected the outcome as rigged.

The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), government's regulator, has ordered the closure of BSES after ruling the announcement made via the broadcaster came before the INEC announcement.

The regulator has ruled Fayose's actions were a violation of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Electoral Act.

It statement also alleged multiple infractions of electoral laws by the broadcaster including "malicious and unsubstantiated claims" made on air against INEC, the Nigerian Police and the Department of Security Services.

Critics allege the agencies rigged the poll in the northwestern state.

The closure broadcaster is the latest in the differences with the regulator.

Last week,NBC fined the state broadcaster N500 000 (US$1,385) for "failing to meet ethical standards."

This after the regulator took issue with Lere Olayinka's appointment as the broadcaster's acting director general while serving as a spokesperson for the PDP candidate.

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