Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has closed down indefinitely the newly established REACH FM allegedly owned by Governor Rochas Okorocha for illegally operating without a licence.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday, the capital of Imo State, Director, Media Operation Unit of NBC, Alhaji Bugudu Almalik said that listeners of the illegally established radio would be wondering why the “Reach Fm 104.7” purportedly owned by Governor Rochas Okorocha has suddenly gone off air, he maintained that reason was that the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation has shut down the station.
Alhaji Almalik further hinted that neither the name of Rochas Okorocha nor any member of his family was issued with radio operating license, and wondered why an individual could resume operation of a radio station when neither his name nor his agent reflected in the board of trustees of the firm that applied for Reach FM.
According to him, having failed to secure a radio license, Okorocha connived with some NBC workers to locate owners of approved licenses that were not in operation, saying that when they found one that was not in use, he bought over their license in the form of partnership, describing it as an action that is not allowed by NBC laws.
Furthering, he added that following their lack of regard for due process, Governor Okorocha in connivance with one Mr. Kennedy Zanders commenced broadcasting in the station without NBC visitation, confirmation nor approval, expressing bitterness that the act drew the anger of the NBC who since ordered the immediate closure of the station with an ongoing probe on how he obtained Reach FM license.
In his separate revelation, a casual worker at the NBC office Abuja disclosed that following the immediate closure of Reach FM, Okorocha had commenced lobbying within and outside NBC to cover up the offence, which he described as criminal.
Meanwhile, findings have shown that the license issued to a moribund radio station seven years ago before Governor Okorocha bought it for Reach FM was to be a community radio with a few kilometres radius reach, but Okorocha in his behaviour installed mega transmitters that cover the entire South East and beyond with impunity.
Analysts believe Okorocha was quick to kick start broadcasting in the station not minding NBC procedures because he wanted to use the station to launder his battered image in the Southeast, having realized that people no longer listen to IBC Orient radio because of him.