Amnesty International country director, Osai Ojigho

Human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the suspension of the licence of Daar Communications, owners of AIT, Raypower and Faaji FMs until further notice by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Concise News had reported that the Director-General of NBC, Modibbo Kawu, announced the suspension on Thursday evening.

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Kawu said the action was taken for failure of the company to abide by the broadcasting code.

However, the group described the shutdown as an attempt to stifle free press.

It said in a tweet, “Amnesty International condemns suspension of AIT and Raypower by Nigerian authorities. This heavy-handed clampdown is clearly a ploy to undermine independent media and freedom of the press.”

Similarly, SERAP called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene immediately.

SERAP posted on Twitter, “We have carefully reviewed the ‘grounds’ for suspending AIT and Raypower. We maintain that the indefinite suspension by NBC is arbitrary and blatantly illegal. The ban must be lifted immediately.

“The NBC must immediately reverse its arbitrary decision to suspend AIT, Raypower or face legal action. This is censorship. The move is a serious blow to freedom of expression and Nigerians’ right to information about critical developments in the country.”