The Bauchi State Government has withdrawn the Right of Occupancy on a piece of land belonging to DAAR Communication Plc, owners of the African Independent Television and Raypower FM.
A copy of the letter ordering the withdrawal of the land situated at the outskirts of Tirwun, which was signed by the Commissioner of Works, Lands and Housing, Abubakar Ali, was obtained by our correspondent on Thursday.
In a reaction, the Acting Head, Bauchi Station, AIT/Raypower, Yakubu Bala, said, “It is likely that they are doing this because of the programmes we are airing, which allows for the opposition to come and voice its views; we don’t know (if) that (is the case).”
The Senior Special Assistant to the Bauchi State Governor on Media, Sabo Mohammed, in a telephone interview, denied the allegation that the government’s action was prompted by dissatisfaction with the programmes of the media.
Mohammed added that the government had the right to revoke any Certificate of Occupancy it wished to in public interest.
He said, “The government, as empowered by the law, reserves the right to revoke, withdraw or suspend any Certificate of Occupancy given to anyone.
“The issue should have been whether or not the government has the right to do so and it is not true that the government withdrew the Certificate of Occupancy because AIT does not entertain the state government.”
When asked what the overriding public interest was, Mohammed said, “The only thing is that the government deemed it necessary at this material point in time because of the overriding public interest and the government has the right by law to do so.”