Law News
Court re-affirms order barring AIT anti-Tinubu documentary

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, on Wednesday, re-affirmed an order barring Africa Independent Television from further airing a documentary tagged “The Lion of Bourdillon.”

The documentary, which the television station began airing since March 1, 2015, chronicled alleged fraud and public misconduct of a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu.

Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe had, on March 16, made an interim order stopping the airing of the documentary pending the determination of the N150bn libel suit filed against Daar Communications Plc, owner of AIT by Tinubu.

The judge, on Wednesday, further made an interlocutory injunction barring the documentary, saying  the applicant could not be adequately compensated if the station was allowed to continue to broadcast the documentary.

“I hereby order an interlocutory injunction in this suit restraining the defendant from further airing, publishing or disseminating, broadcasting the documentary ‘Lion of Bourdilion’, which it started broadcasting on March 1, pending the determination of the substantive suit,” the judge held.

Tinubu, through his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had in the substantive suit complained that the documentary was aimed at impugning him.

But the defence counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said the content of the documentary were facts which had been in the public domain for over two decades and published independently prior to the broadcast.

Backing up his argument, Ozekhome exhibited  previous publications on Tinubu, which he said had neither been unchallenged nor contradicted  till date.

According to him, AIT had the social duty to scrutinise public officers, including  Tinubu, who was a former senator and governor of Lagos State for two terms.

While he maintained that it was part of AIT’s responsibilities to  inform the public appropriately to allow them to make informed decisions, Ozekhome, however, said his client had since March 6 stopped airing the documentary on his advice.

But he urged the court to dismiss the applicant’s case, saying he had not shown any cause to merit the damages he was seeking.

Meanwhile Olanipekun contended that AIT could not be justified that it had continued to broadcast the documentary on the grounds that most of its contents were already on the Internet or in the public domain as it claimed.

Akinkugbe has adjourned till April 16, 2015 for further direction in the case.

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