The N150bn libel suit Asiwaju Bola Tinubu instituted against DAAR Communications Plc, the owner of African Independent Television, is to be settled out of court, parties told the court on Friday.
Tinubu filed the suit last March in protest against a documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdillon’ aired repeatedly on AIT in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
The former Lagos State governor had, through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had filed defamatory suit against AIT owned by PDP chieftan, Raymond Dokpesi claiming that the documentary, ‘Lion of the Bourdillon’ was targeted at demeaning him in the eye of the public.
At the resumed hearing Friday, both lawyers informed the judge that their clients had settled the case out of court and prayed the court to adopt the terms of settlement they filed as the judgment of the court in the case.
Mike Ozekhome, lawyer to the defendant told the court, “We are before My Lord this morning to do what the court has always encouraged litigants to do.
“We have come here today that every war that is fought is finally resolved at the round table.
“Parties have decided to settle amicably to enable both parties to continue with the good relationship that they have always had before the devil struck.”
Confirming the position, Olanipekun aligned himself with Ozekhome and urged the court to adopt the said settlement terms dated January 29, 2016.
Consequently, Justice Akinkugbe, in a short ruling, adopted the settlement terms as the judgment in the suit.
The judge said DAAR Communications Plc would publicly and unequivocally retract the said documentary “three times, once daily.”
Justice Akinkugbe, who presided over the case, asked the defendant to tender an unreserved apology to Tinubu, “three times, one daily.”
She ordered them to withdraw their claims and counter-claims respectively and held that they would respectively bear the cost spent by them on the suit.
The terms of settlement was backed with a letter of apology, in which DAAR Communications begged Tinubu and described him as an “outstanding political leader of unblemished character and integrity” and prayed that he would live long “to make more enormous contributions to the advancement of our nation, Nigeria.”
The letter read in part, “DAAR Communications Plc acknowledges that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an outstanding political leader of unblemished character and integrity, as well as a leading public figure and opinion-moulder, who has made and continuous make immense contributions to the progress and development of the nation in general and Lagos State in particular.
“DAAR Communications Plc admits that in airing the said documentary, it had no intention, whatsoever, to embarrass or diminish the high reputation of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which it respects and attests to.”