Founder of  DAAR Communications, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, yesterday, stormed the National Assembly to protest alleged moves to gag the media by National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

Dokpesi, who appeared before a joint Committee of the Media and Public Affairs of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, however, asked the National Assembly to urgently carry out a holistic amendment of the laws regulating the practice of broadcasting in the country.

According to him, the amendment of the laws setting up NBC will enable the commission to bring on board a competitive level with the rest of the world.

Dokpesi, who was at the National Assembly to protest against alleged attempt by the Federal Government to silence his media stations, explained that an amendment of the laws will ensure that the appointments of the Board of Directors, as well as that of the director-general, were subjected to the confirmation of the National Assembly and avoid the current situation where the positions were occupied by politicians loyal to the ruling party.

Dokpesi denied allegations of professional misconduct brought against his media houses by the NBC, describing it as a desperate attempt to gag, muzzle his stations.

Dokpesi later handed his petition to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Debts, Senator Shehu Sani (PRP, Kaduna Central), who represented the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on behalf of the National Assembly.

In his remarks, Sani, who hailed the contributions of DAAR group to the growth and development of democracy over the years in Nigeria, stressed that Dokpesi’s concerns were weighty and should be thoroughly investigated.

Senator Sani said:  “We are here on behalf of the two arms of the National Assembly to receive your letters and protest. We have carefully listened to your presentation and the issues you raised concerning the National  Broadcasting Commission over its attempt to muscle you by way of raising issues that have to do with your activities.

“First,  it is important for us to restate that the National Assembly in the last four years has been media friendly, the one that has always been ready to open its doors to protests, objections and even revolt by Nigerians on issues that touch on justice and fundamental rights.

“In light of this, I think it is important for us to understand that the relationship between the media and the National Assembly has been very cordial. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, our democracy and liberty are dependent on a free press and that cannot be lost whenever it is limited.”

‘’Democracy fully depends on having a free press, freely operating to defend and perform people’s oversight functions in the affairs of governance.