NCC arrests suspected cable vandals

By The Citizen

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) yesterday arrested 12 suspects for transmitting illegally broadcast signals of Multichoice (DSTV) worth N29.3m in Awada, Obosi Anambra State. Director General of NCC, Afam Ezekude, told newsmen that the Commission acted on information and surveillance reports.

He said they stormed the community and other designed locations with the help of armed security operatives, arrested 12 suspects for transmitting illegal broadcasting signals of Multichoice (DSTV) at a give-away price. Ezekude, represented by the Zonal Manager Emeka Ogbona, revealed that the total illegal transmitting decoders, transmission boasters, rolls of installation wires, with other accessories, were worth N29.3million.

He lamented that the vandalisers went about making the installations for a giveaway price of N500 each and agreed for monthly subscription of about N500 each making it N1,000 for what others paid hundreds of thousands and millions of naira to have.

He noted that the raiding was an indication of the Commission's renewed commitment to its regulatory and enforcement mandate, adding that the Commission was in the process of amending its law. He said when ammended, the law will affect some individuals that obtained the illegal broadcasting signals.

He said they will be arrested and charged to court in a bid to eradicate broadcasting piracy in the Country. ''The law when amended, will provide for a more severe penalty for copyright offences and criminalise illegal usage of protected works thus making subscribers liable,'' Ezekude said.

He indicated that the Commission was intensifying its anti piracy operations across the country in protection of the genuine right owners and the copyright industries with a policy of zero tolerance to piracy in Nigeria .

He called on members of the public, together with stakeholders in the creative industries to support the on-going National Copyright protection and anti- piracy campaign, adding that the Commission cannot win the war alone.

He advised those who operate illegal transitions and those who patronise them to desist from such acts to avoid been arrested and prosecuted.