By Tersoo Achineku
In the past week, Daar Communications Group have been stuck in an on and off ban controversy with the All Progressives Congress’ Muhammadu Buhari and with the statements of Raymond Dokpesi, we might have have not heard the last of the issue.
Chairman of Daar Communications, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower, Raymond Dokpesi, recently in a chat with Premium Times explained that the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, lacks the constitutional powers to restrict the television station from covering his activities.
Dokpesi explained that the decision to bar the station on Monday, April 27, 2015 was a reminder of the Decree 4 era, which Buhari’s junta enacted against freedom of the press, when he was a military Head of State.
Dokpesi said: “I am sure that the President-elect needs to be reminded of Decree 4, and he should be clearly reminded that Section 32 of the constitution makes it mandatory for the media to hold public officials accountable to the people.
“The president-elect said that he does not want to be covered by AIT, but AIT has a responsibility to the Nigerian public to report the things that are happening.
“There are three national networks available for national coverage in Nigeria, the NTA, AIT and Silverbirds. You cannot stop a foremost private station from reporting in Nigeria, it brings us back to Decree 4 era.”
Defending the airing of a controversial documentary about Buhari and his family, Dokpesi said the station was a private entity that could air anything that it feels is fact and accurate.
“If they had produced their own documentary to say this is what we want and AIT did not publish it, then that is another matter.
“What is obviously very clear is the fact that AIT believes that the historical information about the President-elect that were ran, were factually correct.
“Nothing was done to defame him or impinge on his character or integrity,” he said.