Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe of an Ikeja High Court Tuesday fixed September 30 for further hearing on the court processes served by counsel in a N150 billion libel suit filed by former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, against African Independent Television (AIT). Tinubu had instituted the suit against Daar Communications Plc, owners of AIT, for airing a documentary titled “Lion of Bourdilion”. According to him, the documentary which aired on the television station was libellous and aimed at tarnishing his image. During yesterday’s proceeding, counsel to AIT, Mr Jeffrey Kadiri, told the court that he had filed all the necessary pleadings in the matter.
Responding, Tinubu’s counsel, Mr Ademola Adesiyun, asked the court in a motion dated June 26 for extension of time in which to file a reply to AIT’s statement of defence and counterclaim. In the counter-claim, AIT listed its Chairman emeritus, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and seven others as witnesses to testify against Tinubu. Others listed to testify were Namure Edoimioya, Chief Medan Tenke, Ajibola Adewusi, Olumide Idowu, Chief Stanley Odidi, Engr. Nwabueze and Dr Stanley Bassey.
The broadcast outfit also denied each and every allegation of facts as contained in the claimant’s amended statement of claim. Meanwhile, Dokpesi, in his statement on oath, averred that Tinubu’s claim was founded on a non-existent ground because the said documentary was not titled “The Lion of Bourdilon”, but “Unmasking the Real Tinubu”. He also averred that the documentary, in his honest opinion, was not false and was not aired out of malice to the person of the claimant. Dokpesi said AIT, as a member of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, was empowered by Section 22 of the Constitution to at all times, hold those in government accountable and responsible to the people of Nigeria. He further averred that the content of the documentary were facts which had been in the public domain for over two decades.