BREAKING: Buhari’s Defamation Suit Against AIT Struck Out

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An Abuja Federal High Court has struck out a defamation suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari against DAAR Communications, owners of the African Independent Television (AIT).

Justice John Tsoho, on Wednesday struck out the suit, which was filed last year, on the grounds that it appeared abandoned. According to him, no representations from the parties have been entered since the matter was assigned to the court.

Justice Tsoho therefore struck out the suit saying it was against the rules of court, as all opportunities given for the plaintiff and the respondents to put life in the suit have failed.

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In 2015, President Mohammadu Buahari had filed the suit challenging the alleged documentary transmitted by the station aimed at defaming his character in the eyes of the public.

The President averred that the video documentary aired by DAAR Communications, owned by a chieftain of the PDP, Chief Raymond Dokpesi was aimed at giving him away as a dictator and religious bigot.

He also averred that the documentary was also shown on the state-owned Nigerian Television Authority.



Before the action, the APC national leadership had written to the two stations describing the video as fabricated and defamatory. Subsequently, the presidential candidate of the APC, as he was then, approached the court with the suit.

Recall that in March 2015, national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu sued AIT for airing a documentary which was deemed defamatory “in all respects”.

The documentary titled, “Unmasking the Real Tinubu: The Lion of Bourdillon, showcased various properties and companies across Lagos purportedly owned by Mr. Tinubu, described as “Nigeria’s biggest landlord” and also claimed that Mr. Tinubu was “charged with narcotics” in 1993 in the United States.

Tinubu, through his lawyers, instituted a N150 billion suit against the station alleging that the documentary was libellous and aimed at tarnishing his image.

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However, in a letter of apology tendered before a Lagos High Court, Daar Communications, said they hold Mr. Tinubu in high esteem, consequently, Tinubu withdrew the suit against AIT.

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