Chairman emeritus of Daar Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, has officially apologised to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the broadcast of a libellous documentary aired on his television station, Africa Independent Television (AIT) during the 2015 election campaigns.
AIT had broadcasted a documentary ‘Lion of Bourdillion’ on its stations across the country. The documentary which contained a series of allegations bothering on corruption was aired repeatedly to the dismay of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and indeed his All Progressives Congress (APC) party with calls for retractions ignored by Chief Dokpesi’s station.
Tinubu had approached the Ikeja High Court and instituted a N150 billion suit against Daar Communications Plc, owners of AIT, for airing the documentary. In the suit, Tinubu alleged that the documentary, which started airing on 1 March, 2015, was libellous and aimed at tarnishing his image.
On resumption of proceedings in the case on Friday, Chief Dokpesi’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) informed the court of his client’s wish to embrace alternative dispute resolution with Chief Raymond Dokpesi tendering an unreserved apology to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Mike Ozekhome stated that “My lord, we have come to court today to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Every war that is fought is always settled amicably on a roundtable.
“Both parties have expressed their desire to settle amicably based on the terms of settlement which My Honourable Lord has been furnished with.
“We reached the agreement to enable both parties to continue with the good relationship that they have always had. We have driven the devil away with a spiritual ‘Koboko’ (horse whip),” Ozekhome told the court.
Tinubu’s Counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) also informed the court of his client’s willingness to settle out of court.
“I align myself with the submissions and sentiments of my learned friend. I can also confirm that the terms of settlement which was drawn up on the 29th of January has been accepted by both parties,” Olanipekun said.
“I also want to appreciate my Lord for her patience all through the duration of the suit. I also appreciate the Claimant who magnanimously agreed to settle out of court,” Olanipekun said.
Consequently, Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe adopted the terms of of settlement and acknowledged that it has been filed before the court.
The terms of agreement include a retraction of the broadcast by AIT, an apology by AIT which should be aired three times, once daily on AIT, and that the claimant and the defendant shall bear their respective costs in the suit.
Below is his letter of apology accompanied with the terms of settlement.
Retraction and Apology by DAAR Communications Plc to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Further to the terms of settlement in Suit No: ID/196GCMW/2015 between Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Daar Communications Plc filed as a result of the broadcast of a documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdilon’ and which terms were adopted at the High Court of Lagos State on 5th February, 2016 as the judgment of the court, the defendant, Daar Communication Plc, hereby retract and apologise to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as follows:
- Daar Communications Plc, acknowledges that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is an outstanding political leader of unblemished character and integrity, as well as a leading public figure and opinion moulder who has made and continues to make immense, colossal and gargantuan contributions to the progress and development of the nation in general. And Lagos State in particular.
- Daar Communications Plc admits that in airing the said documentary, it had no intention whatsoever to embarrass or diminish the high reputation of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which it respects and attests to.
- Daar Communications Plc hereby makes a public and unequivocal retraction of the said documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdilon’, which was broadcast on its television station, AIT.
- Daar Communications Plc hereby tenders unreserved apology to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the broadcast of the documentary on its television station, AIT.
- Daar Communications Plc prays that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will live long to make more enormous contributions to the advancement of our nation, Nigeria, Lagos State and the world at large.
Credits: PM News