Daar Communications, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) can breathe a temporary sigh of relief as the N150 billion libel suit filed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, against them, was on Thursday adjourned till May 27 for further direction.
The suit was instituted by Tinubu against the outfit for allegedly peddling false accusations about his personality in the documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdilion.’ It was adjourned after Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe, the presiding judge, had seen the submissions of Tinubu’s counsel, Mr. Ayodele Adedipe, and Mr. Jeffery Kadiri, counsel to AIT.
The former Governor of Lagos State had reportedly filed the charges on the basis that the documentary was politically sponsored to tarnish his reputation in the eyes of the populace.
The documentary was said to have showcased various properties and companies across Lagos purportedly owned by the claimant and he was described as “Nigeria’s biggest landlord”.
Lead counsel to Tinubu, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) also revealed that the flick had claimed that the APC Leader was “charged for narcotics” in 1993 in the United States, all this in a bid, he said, to tarnish his image.
Olanipekun had therefore asked the court to award N150 billion as damages against AIT for tarnishing his client’s reputation.
Responding, Chief Mike Ozekhome, lead counsel to AIT, had argued that the content of the documentary were facts which had been in the public domain for over two decades. According to him, these were published independently prior to the broadcast and had remained unchallenged till date.