Benin: Regulatory authority closes various broadcasting media
(Ecofin Agency) - In Benin, the radio station Soleil FM and studios of Idéal production, firm that provides images to Pan-African channel Sikka Television have been closed. The measure falls under a decision of the High Authority for Broadcasting and Communication (HAAC) to close various media, including TV channels E-Télé and Chrétienne TV.
The HAAC has suspended Soleil FM’s activity until further notice for violating the convention signed in December 2013 between them. Under the agreement, the firm, which presently airs from Cotonou, was to do so from Djeffa in the Sèmè-Podji municipality. The regulator said it was not informed of the change. Soleil FM belongs to businessman Sébastien Ajavon who also owns Sikka TV. Ajavon seems to no more be in the good graces of Patrice Talon’s government despite supporting him in the recent elections. Recently, he was brought to court in the framework of a case in which one the containers shipped to his company was found to contain cocaine (18 kg).
Like Soleil FM, E-Télé was sanctioned for changing emission site. The media which is said to be very close to the former president, Thomas Boni Yayi, clashed with Patrice Talon a while ago. It is owned by Yaya Salami Adéoti, head of civil engineering firm Adéoti Sarl.
According to Pascal Todjinou, general secretary of the General Confederation of Benin’s Workers (CGTB), cited by Jeune Afrique, Sebastien Ajavon is the main target of the HAAC. “All the media that have been suspended are either directly related to Sebastien Ajavon or openly criticize the government. That is the real reason,” Mr. Todjinou said.