Tinubu threatens to sue AIT over documentary, demands N20 billion damages
Tinubu threatens to sue AIT over
documentary, demands N20 billion
Progressives Congress National Leader, Bola Tinubu,
has threatened to sue the owners of
African Independent Television for
airing a documentary he deemed
defamatory “in all respects”.
In a letter dated March 2, 2015, to the
management of Daar
Communications Limited, owners of
AIT, Mr. Tinubu gave the
organization 24 hours to apologize
and retract the publication.
“We are surprised that your media
house – and we hold you responsible
for the documentary – lacks simple
ability to know what is justifiable for
publication or understand that
freedom of expression does not
include deliberate defamation of
character,” Mr. Tinubu said in the
letter by his lawyer, Tunji Abayomi.
The hour-long documentary, aired on
March 1 at 11 p.m., and titled
“Unmasking the Real Tinubu”
showcased various properties and
companies across Lagos purportedly
owned by Mr. Tinubu, described as
“Nigeria’s biggest landlord”.
The programme also claimed that Mr.
Tinubu was “charged for narcotics”
in 1993 in the United States.
Tinubu said that since he was not
running for political office, he found
the publication about his life “utterly
absurd, disrespectful of media
responsibility, ethically abusive,
malicious and unbecoming of a
public institution raised into
prominence by shareholders’ funds”.
“More disturbing is your
representation that the said
documentary was ‘sponsored’ without
disclosing the ‘sponsors’. You cannot
under law, hide under media freedom
or freedom of expression to
maliciously injure a citizen’s
reputation,” Tinubu said.
Tinubu warned the TV station
against a repeat broadcast of the documentary
which he further described as “indefensibly false
“Also note that we are claiming damages of N20
billion from your Company/Media house for the
expressly defamatory publication in issue. Failure
of which, we will immediately initiate an action