NCC/DSS seal three broadcast stations in Abia, arrest suspected operators Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia

The Nigeria copyright Commision has sealed three Television broadcast stations in Aba and Umuahia the capital of Abia.

The services of stations were  interrupted on Thursday, 12 March, 2020 over alleged Illicit broadcast operations when
NCC and operatives of the Department of State Services  raided their facilities.

The raid was carried out simultaneously by three separate teams comprising officers from the two agencies following months  of surveillance and intelligence gathering.

It was gathered that the broadcast facilities, belonging to Popular Broadcasting Service and Modern Communication Limited have been under watch for a while for engaging in rogue broadcasting around Aba and Umuahia.

Equipment found on the premises of the illegal broadcasters includes those for the retransmission of Star Times and MCN contents.

Also recovered were broadcasting decoders for Ben Sports, Metro Digital, Aljazera, Canal Plus and other contrivances used for their illegal activities contrary to the provisions of the Copyright Act. Five (5) suspects were also arrested for further interrogation.

Speaking after the raid the Director General of the NCC Mr. John O. Asein, reiterated the determination of the Commission to confront copyright piracy in the different industries.

Asein who spoke through one of the Copyright Inspectors expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Director General of the Department of State Services for the operational and logistic support that made the raid and arrests possible.

He said “the joint operation is a demonstration of a common objective by relevant agencies to ensure that the laudable economic policies being introduced by Government are not thwarted by the illegal activities of unscrupulous persons”.

According to the Director General,

"The on-going efforts of the Federal Government to reposition the broadcast industry and ensure a safe and investment friendly legal framework call for a more proactive copyright enforcement strategy".

He assured investors in the creative sector, particularly the broadcast industry that the Commission will continue to ensure that they enjoy safe corridors to guarantee returns on their investment.

The Director General said investigation into the activities of the suspects will commence immediately and any copyright infractions would be prosecuted while other criminal activities would be reported to the relevant agencies for further action.

He appealed to the public to desist from patronising copyright pirates and urged them to report suspected copyright violations to the Commission.

One of the arrested operators, who claimed that he once had a broadcast licence from the National Broadcasting Commission, however confessed that the licence had since lapsed.

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