Members of the Association of Cable Operators of Nigeria have said they lost over N500m in revenue after the raid, seizure of their equipment and arrest of some of their colleagues by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The three cable television stations (CAN TV, Metro TV and CTL) in Port Harcourt were raided for allegedly rebroadcasting the content of the Digital Satellite Television.
The association further alleged that the men of the EFCC also damaged equipment in their offices during the raid.
The National Chairman of the association, Kunle Afolabi, while addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday, condemned the action of the anti-graft agency.
He added that members of the association did not violate any law by operating cable television multi-point microwave distribution system, having obtained licences from the National Broadcasting Commission for such operation.
Afolabi said, “Our members did not commit any crime known to the law to merit that kind of treatment. They (EFCC) did not even invite us to hear our own side of the story. Before that time, there was an industrial argument.
“The Federal Government should ensure that they treat all cable television stations equally so that customers will have different options and enjoy various programmes like it is done in other parts of the world.”
The Operations Manager, Metro Television, Paul Osuji, noted that the station had lost 22 of its workers, as well as many vendors, subscribers and partners after the EFCC raid.
Osuji said, “Since the raid, up to this moment, we have lost N500m in revenue. We can’t even pay our workers their salaries.
“We wrote several letters to this company so that we can arrive at the commercially-agreeable terms. In all the cases, they never replied or behaved as if they received those letters.
“We had to go to court. The law says that in an event that we cannot agree with the right owners, we can go to court. This matter has been in the high court in Lagos since 2017.”
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