Nigeria: NCC Seizes N100m Equipment From Satellite Television Pirates

Regulation & Policy

In Onitsha, the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) said it confiscated equipment worth over N100 million from pirates illegally tapping broadband broadcast signals of right-owners in Onitsha area.

The Zonal Head of NCC in Onitsha, Emeka Ogbonna, said on Wednesday in Onitsha that the seizure covered a period of two years.

Ogbonna said that 15 persons had been arraigned at the Federal High Court in Awka over the illegal act.

He said that all the court cases had reached advanced stage and that the court conviction would serve as lesson and deterrent for others.

The NCC head said the seizure included equipment like signal boosters, signal receivers, decoders, generating sets as well as cables used to run the signals from house to house.

"The use of cables to tap signals of some right-owners like DSTV and Multi-Choice is prevalent within Onitsha and its environs.

"These pirates go and get the initial subscription for private use and they would commercialise it by tapping and sending their private use subscription to many people within their area.

"Each one of these pirates may have up to 500 sub-subscribers under him, while he collects nothing less than N500 each month from the people they tap the signals to their homes.

"But the original right-owner, who must have paid heavily to get the right to air some programmes or live events such as the English premier league and others will start losing money and subscription," Ogbonna said.

He said the commission would stop the illegal acts and had set up a joint intelligence unit with the right-owners to monitor Onitsha and its environs.

"I must tell you, we are winning the war against these pirates who perpetrate this act.