Court to Rule on Tinubu’s Suit against AIT April 1
Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe of an Ikeja High Court has fixed April 1 to rule on the interlocutory application filed by the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu against Africa Independent Television (AIT).
Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor had instituted a N150 billion suit against AIT, owned by Chief Raymond Dopkesi for peddling false accusations about his personality.
In the ex-parte motion filed by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Tinubu sought an order of interim injunction restraining AIT whether by itself, agents, privies and or other persons from producing or continuing to broadcast, airing, or continuing to reproduce a documentary.
The motion also sought to restrain the TV station from continuing the broadcast of the documentary, which it started airing on March 1 and had been repeating daily, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated March 5, 2015.
The motion further noted that damages would not adequately compensate applicant/claimant if the ex-parte order was not granted and prayed that the rest of the suit may be extinguished if the ex-parte order was not granted.
It also noted that there was real, imminent and urgent threat and danger of continuing to decimate the person and integrity of Tinubu by AIT by continuing to air the “offensive” broadcast if the ex-parte motion was not granted.
Akinkugbe had last week granted an interim injunction restraining AIT from airing the said documentary pending the determination of the interlocutory application.
Moving the application yesterday, Chief Olanipeku urged the court to grant the motion as the defendants; AIT stands to lose nothing by temporary stopping the broadcast of the contentious documentary pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Olanipekun further stated that AIT’s contention that most of the contents in the said documentary were already on various online publications was not an excuse to continue to broadcast the document.
He further noted that AIT’s contention that the said documentary was a sponsored advertorial was also not an excuse to further continue the broadcast which had become a subject of litigation.
Olanipekun noted that AIT could not continue to make money at the expense of Tinubu who he claimed had never been convicted by any court of law either in Nigeria or abroad.
Responding, counsel to AIT, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) insisted that Tinubu’s applicant would not in any way be prejudiced if the court chooses to make an order stopping the broadcast.
Ozekhome informed the court that AIT had since stopped the broadcast of the documentary immediately after Tinubu instituted the suit.
He also contended that the issues contained in the documentary were already public knowledge as several website had already published similar facts.
He said since Tinubu had already demanded for N150 billion as compensation which is the worth of his purported damaged integrity, it would not be wise to grant his prayer for interlocutory injunction restraining AIT from further broadcasting the documentary.
Justice Akinkugbe adjourned the matter till April 1 for ruling, after listening to the arguments of both parties.