Documentary: Court grants interlocutory injunction against AIT

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IKEJA – An Ikeja High Court in Lagos on Wednesday granted an interlocutory injunction restraining the African Independent Communication (AIT) from further airing a documentary on the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu.

The injunction was granted by Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe who had earlier on March 16 granted an interim order restraining the broadcast station from airing the said documentary.

The judge said the injunction would subsist, pending the determination of the substantive N150 billion libel suit filed by Tinubu against Daar Communications Plc., owners of AIT.

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In her ruling, the judge held that the continued airing of the documentary titled “Lion of Bourdilion”, would affect the `res’ of the suit which was the reputation of the applicant.

Akinkugbe said that the applicant could not be adequately compensated for the damages done to his reputation if the defendant was allowed to continuously air the documentary.

She said: “I hereby order an interlocutory injunction in this suit restraining the defendant from further airing, publishing or disseminating or broadcasting the documentary ‘Lion of Bourdilion’ .

Its broadcasting started on March 1, pending the determination of the substantive suit.”
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The judge adjourned the matter till April 16 for further direction.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Tinubu had instituted the suit against Daar Communications Plc., over alleged libel and defamation of character.

Tinubu, who is the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, , had alleged that the documentary was politically sponsored to tarnish his reputation in the eyes of the populace.

He had also asked the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining AIT whether by itself, agents, privies and or other persons from producing or continuing to broadcast the documentary.

Moving the application on March 20, his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had urged the court to restrain the defendant from airing the “offensive broadcast”, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

According to him, the defendant’s contention that most of the contents in the documentary are already on various online publication is not an excuse to continue to broadcast the document.

Responding, AIT’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court that the documentary was last aired on March 6 following his advice to the station to discontinue the broadcast.

Ozekhome had, however, argued that the contents of the documentary were facts which had been in the public domain for over two decades and published independently prior to the broadcast.

He exhibited other previous articles written about Tinubu which according to him had remained unchallenged till date.

He contended that Tinubu was a former senator, two-time governor of Nigeria’s most populous state and the leader of the APC which claimed to fight .

Ozekhome said AIT had a responsibility to its audience to scrutinise their public officers, adding that Tinubu had not shown how the said documentary had damaged his reputation.

He, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the application because Tinubu had failed to show that he could not be adequately compensated for the damages. (NAN)