A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice John Tsoho has thrown out a suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari against DAAR Communications, which owns the African Independent Television (AIT).
The AIT is owned by business mogul and politician, Chief Raymond Dokpesi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Punch reports that the defamation suit filed in 2015 year by President Buhari was struck out by the court.
Details of the judgement are still sketchy at the time of this report, but the suit was filed in relation to the 2015 presidential election and a video documentary aired by the television station which gave the president away as a dictator and religious bigot.
It was also shown on the state-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) under Sola Omole, its director-general at the time.
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The documentary did not go down well with the president and a section of Nigerians who heavily criticised the television station as doubling the tension that was faced by the country at that period.
In February while the campaigns were still on, Buhari, then the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), vowed to sue the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the AIT.
But before he took the action, his party wrote a letter to the two stations describing the video as fabricated and defamatory and also making some demands.
“I refer to your curious, unguarded, mischievous, fabricated, defamatory and hate documentary broadcast against All Progressives Congress and particularly its presidential candidate, His Excellency, General Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
“In the hate documentary, you were goaded into carefully and intentionally turning your respected television station into a ready tool for hate groups that do not wish Nigeria well.
“Certainly, your station has, in the past, contributed a lot to Nigerian nation-building. One is therefore stunned at this ugly twist at solemn election period?”
“We demand you to do the following as a matter of urgency:
(a) A letter of apology to All Progressives Congress and its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,
(b) Have a meeting with All Progressive Congress National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed with view to packaging a retrieval broadcast and
(c) Disclosure of the real sponsors of the hate documentary to All Progressives Congress.
“Failure on your side to comply immediately with the above demands would certainly force us to take drastic court action against you,” the party said through its legal department.
In another letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Buhari said: “Campaign of hate, particularly when based on twisted facts and ill intentions, is a constructive incitement to violence.
"Campaign of hate is not only dehumanising; it is against the spirit of our constitution and unwholesome to national interests.
“The electorate have rights to base their evaluation of every election candidate on true facts not deceptive and cooked manipulation."