Emmanuel Uduaghan, the immediate past Governor of Delta State, has filed a petition before the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) against the management of Channels Television, over a sponsored documentary by Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, which was aired by the station.
Uduaghan made it clear that having left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), there should be no need for Delta State government to use his past visuals and comments for paid documentary to canvass and solicit support and votes for Okowa’s second term bid in the March governorship election in the state.
In a petition addressed to the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission, Abuja, signed by P.U. Agbone-Efejdare (Mrs.) for Felix, Igelige & Associates, entitled ‘Re: Breach of Nigeria Broadcasting Code By Channels Television’, and obtained by SaharaReporters, Uduaghan demanded the sanction of the broadcast outfit in accordance with the extant laws and codes regulating broadcasting in Nigeria.
The petition read: “Our professional services as Solicitors have been engaged by His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, former Governor of Delta State of Nigeria referred to in this letter as ‘our client’ and it is on his instructions that we write to lodge a complaint of breach of Nigeria Broadcasting Code against Channels Television.
“It is our clients’ instructions that on 27/2/2019 at about 7pm–9pm during its commercials, the Channels Television made a broadcast in the form of advertisement with the caption ‘Testimony of Gov. Okowa’s Grand Achievements’ with our client appearing in videos uttering the following words: ‘I want to congratulate Ekueme for his roads construction efforts. The projects are completed and I congratulate him for that. My happiness is that he did not come and abandon the projects. He has completed the projects for the benefit of the people. He has done quite well especially in the area of wealth creation. We no go follow you struggle for the office. We go just dey follow you dey support you. We dey behind you gidigba!’
“The advert ended with the words ‘Vote Okowa again for a stronger Delta. PDP POWER….’ Attached herewith is the video clip for ease of reference. Our client is currently a member of the All Progressives Congress and was senatorial candidate for the Delta South Senatorial District in the just conducted elections.
“The videos of our client used in the advert were videos recorded during the commissioning of some projects in Delta State while our client was still a member of the People’s Democratic Party. The videos were not made for the purpose of campaigning for Okowa who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the gubernatorial elections to be conducted on March 9, 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission. More so, the words ‘We go just dey follow you dey support you. We dey behind you gidigba!’ were edited into the video.
“The Channels Television has portrayed our client in the advertisement as if he is campaigning for Okowa, who is the PDP candidate, whereas our client is now a card-carrying member and a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State. Our client is campaigning for Great Ovedje Ogboru for the governorship position. The video which has now gone viral is now being used as a form of blackmail against our client and this has affected his goodwill within the party. He is on the verge of being sanctioned by the party as he is now seen as a betrayal in the party.
“Sir, the Channels Television has used the video recording of our client out of context and it is a misrepresentation. It is against the backdrop of the above that we humbly request you to use your good offices to investigate our clients’ complaints and bring the offender broadcaster to book in accordance with the extant laws and codes regulating broadcasting in Nigeria. We hope and trust that our clients’ complaint will be treated with the urgency it deserves.”