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NHRC Boss Hails Nigerian Journalists, Says “you are agents of change”




The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday described Nigerian journalists as agents of change, saying they deserve the support of all stakeholders.

The Executive Secretary{ES} of the Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu SAN,  said this in a statement to mark the 2023 World Press Freedom Day{WPFD} in Abuja.

“Society should see journalists as “agents of change bearing in mind the various contributions and sacrifices they make on a daily basis to ensure the emancipation and liberation of the common man who had needlessly suffered deprivations, discrimination and other forms of human rights violations in the society,” he said.

He commended the Nigerian journalists for their critical role in advocating for the realisation and enjoyment of democracy in Nigeria and elsewhere.

“Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution (As amended), empowers the Press to hold the government accountable to the people, thereby distinguishing journalists as those who perform essential duty to the nation.

“Nigerian journalists should therefore be seen as patriotic citizens because their duties are provided for in the Constitution.

” Any attempt to prevent performance of their duties amounts to a breach of the Constitution and a violation of press freedom” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria {NAN} reports that this year’s theme is ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: “Freedom of Expression as a Driver of all other Human Rights.’

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According to Ojukwu, this is apt, as it seeks to highlight the influence of the freedom of expression on other human rights.

He added that especially its inherent potency to advocate for the realization of other human rights.

Ojukwu commended journalists for courageously discharging their onerous responsibilities despite occasional harassment, intimidation, and destruction of their working tools by some overzealous security agents.

“Law enforcement agencies should recognize the Press as a critical partner in the democratic process and desist from any form of confrontation. and interference with the lawful duties of journalists and other media workers or be ready to face sanctions.

“They should especially the Police, as matter urgency; intensify their investigations in unearthing the circumstances surrounding any attack on Nigerian journalists.

“The commission commends the federal government in its effort in 2022 which led to the emergence of Nigeria as the only African country that had been in full compliance in terms of the protection of the rights of journalists with one incident of death of a journalist recorded from infractions, as reported by the Committee for the Protection of Journalist” he said.

According to the ES, the commemoration of this day is not an opportunity to apportion blame to any individual, Institution or group of persons but it is a period to reminisce the fundamental principles of press freedom.

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He added that” it is a day to ponder on the state of press freedom globally, defend the Media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in their line of duty.

“As human rights defenders, the NHRC is committed to join all well-meaning stakeholders to fight for a robust civic space in Nigeria.

“To also ensure that the media enabled to play its constitutional role as the watchdog of the society including the government”

NAN reports that World Press Freedom Day which started in 1993, and is celebrated on May 3 annually is to remind governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.

The day is also to remind journalists of their obligation to professional ethics in the course of their duties.

The Day is also to ensure that civic space is not restricted considering the contribution of freedom of expression to development of our democracies all over the world and Nigeria in particular. {NAN}


Sad Passage of High Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi




                         By Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN, CON, OFR, Ph.D 

I am a very sad man as I write this.I am  completely devastated by the ugly news of the rather sudden death of my elder brother, friend, kinsman,soul mate and confidant,HIGH CHIEF RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI.

Dokpesi had called me on WHATSAPP at about 1.

30am THIS MORNING [ 9th May, 2023 ).
He called me to discuss friendship, brotherhood and take advice on sundry legal matters. He exuded his usual happiness, vibrancy, and gusto,notwithstanding that he has had  some health challenges for some time.
His voice was quite rich,steady and filled with laughter,as we taunted and bantered with each other,as we were want to do whenever we encountered 

each other.

We exchanged chats and spoke up to about 1.50am this morning. So when Chief Tony Akiotu  ( GMD, DAAR Communication) and Senator Francis Alimhikhena called me to break the sad news of his death from the very hospital where he was said to have been rushed to, I could not believe my ears.It took another communication from his first son, Raymond Dokpesi,Jnr to melt my lethargic world of disbelief. Was the Ezomo of Weppa Wanno Kingdom’s call to me a FAREWELL from him? Did he have the premonition of his imminent death? I  do not 

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know.Gosh!!! One thing is clear to me as I grieve:Weppa- Wanno, Etsako,Afenmailand,Edo State,Nigeria, Africa,the black race,and indeed the whole world, has lost an unforgettable and uncommon shining star and gem. At a mere 71, Dokpesi lived a life of nobility; a life wholly dedicated to the service of God and humanity.

He impacted the most vulnerable through his many philanthropic works. In the maritime world,he stood tall and resplendent,earning a Ph.D in Maritime Engineering. He was to become the nullus secondus of the media world where he became a Czar, the Ted Turner of African broadcasting. Dokpesi indeed pioneered and blazed private independent broadcasting of television and radio in Nigeria and Africa, establishing Raypower and the African Independent Television ( AIT ).

It was unheard of that a single individual could challenge and break decades of government’s dominance and monopoly of information through radio and television. But,the Araba of Oshoroland and Oghierumhoa of Weppa Wanno Kingdom did just that. In politics, Dokpesi was a master strategist and iconic tactician.

His name vibrated and revibrated across Nigeria for decades in Nigeria’s political firmament. He epitomized the soul and spirit of DAAR.Not many Nigerians know that DAAR is actually a reversed acronym of his name- RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI ( RAAD ).The Ezomo came.He saw. He conquered.He ran a good race. He finished well.May God grant this legend and collosus eternal repose of his great soul until we meet to part no more.tseee, Itseee lagi Itseee

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DAAR Communications Chairman, Dokpesi Dies at 71




Raymond Dokpesi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and founder, DAAR Communications plc, has died at the age of 71.

A family member, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed this yesterday, saying the media mogul died at a hospital in Abuja.

According to the source, Dokpesi had suffered a stroke shortly after the recent Ramadan fast and had been managing his health since.

The source said that Dokpesi was eventually placed on occupational therapy to improve his daily activities through walking out at the gym.

The source said during one of his routine gym exercises, Dokpesi was electrocuted while using one of the gym equipment, leading to stroke and his eventual death.

The Dokpesi family is expected to issue a statement on the development soon.

In 2020, Raymond Dokpesi and members of his family were hospitalized at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. They, however, survived the disease.

Dokpesi founded the African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM and was the Deputy Director-General,Technical and Systems of Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential Campaign Council in the February 25 election.

Life and Times of Dokpesi

Chief Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi (25 October 1951 – 29 May 2023) born in Ibadan was a Nigerian media entrepreneur. His parents were from Agenebode, Edo state in a family including six sisters. He entered the Nigerian mass media industry with his company DAAR Communications and set-up the Nigerian TV network Africa Independent Television (AIT)[1] He was the organising committee chairman of the People’s Democratic Party national conference in 2015.[2] As of March 2020, he is still undergoing a trial on corruption charges.[3] In May 2020, Dokpesi became a COVID-19 survivor.[4] He suffered a stroke shortly after the 2023 Ramadan fast, and eventually died on May 29, 2023.[5]


Dokpesi started his early schooling with Loyola College Ibadan. After which he joined the Immaculate Conception College (ICC) Benin City where he was the pioneer member of Ozolua Play house, a dance/drama group. He did his undergraduate studies in the University of Benin Edo State and completed his studies in University of Gdansk, Poland where he earned his Doctorate degree in Marine Engineering. His studies, from secondary school to university level was sponsored by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur

In the early 1990s, as a result of the historic National Broadcasting Commission decree, according to Muyiwa Oyinlola (2004) Nigerian media was dominated by the government only. Information was only made possible from government owned broadcasting firms. However, the Head of State then General Ibrahim Babangida, issued another decree which allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria. After this decree came the first private television network in Nigeria, Africa Independent Television (AIT). AIT was pioneered by Dokpesi, and was also Africa’s first satellite Television station.[6] Today Dokpesi is regarded as the media guru of Nigeria. Some also refer to him as the Ted Turner of Nigeria. Dokpesi not only pioneered the first satellite TV but also the first privately owned radio station in Nigeria. According to the journalist Kolapo (2006), Raymond claims that AIT set the standard for salary structure in the media industry in which Nigerian Television Authority imitated.[7]

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Dr. Raymond Dokpesi started as the personal assistant to Alhaji Bamaga Tukur one of the general manager of the Nigerian Ports Authority. Dokpesi also served as a civil servant in the Federal Ministry of Transport under Alhaji Umaru Dikko and General Garba Wushishi. The association of Raymond Dokpesi with the likes of the Tukurs and the late Abiola, resulted in the birth of African Ocean Lines (AOL).

Africa Ocean Lines

Dokpesi (2006) summarises African Ocean Lines; one of High Chief, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi first businesses was the first indigenous Shipping Line in Africa. It was established in the 1980s. Although the business did not last long, it contributed a great deal to the Nigerian shipping Industry as it helped formulate the Nigerian shipping act Decree 1986 which stated the sharing formula 40:20:20 for cargo between developed and developing countries.[8]


However, as High Chief, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi practised in his field of study; he never forgot his first love, showbiz and entertainment. This can be traced back to his early days in secondary school when he was the pioneer member of Ozolua Playhouse, dancedrama group. He decided to put his dream to reality when he conceived the idea of starting a radio station during the Ibarahim Babaginda regime when the atmosphere was conducive enough due to the deregulation of broadcasting in Nigeria. In 1994 he launched the first Nigerian private FM radio station RayPower. Two years later, he launched Africa Independent Television. Thus, according to Oyinlola (2005) he became the pacesetter in the world of Nigeria media for the likes of Galaxy TV, Silverbird TV, MBI television, Rhythm FM and a host of others.[6]


Africa Independent Television has gained much coverage. On 20 September 2003, Africa Independent Television launched its signals in the United States. Presently, AIT is received in America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe-wide on the Hotbird satellite as well as countries within Africa.

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Dokpesi’s accomplishments include:

Established the first indigenous shipping line in Nigeria.

Established the first privately owned radio station Raypower FM in Nigeria.

Pioneered Nigeria’s First global TV which was Africa’s first ever Satellite TV station.

Established the first TV station to run 24-hour broadcasting in Nigeria.

Launched the African Independent signals in the United States.

Chairman of the Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria.

Helped in the formulation of the Nigerian Shipping Policy Act(decree) of 1986.


Dokpesi also had his hands in politics. One of his first political assignments was as a political campaign manager for the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, which saw Tukur into the then Gongola state government house. He also assumed the same role during Alharji Adamu Ciroma presidential campaign, and Alharji Bamanga Tukur’s presidential campaign in 1993.Likewise during Peter Odili’s presidential campaign. Dokpesi was one of the leaders of the South-South People Assembly (SSPA) an organisation that seeks to promote south-south people of Nigeria. In 2017, Dokpesi contested for the PDP National Chairmanship position but lost to Uche Secondus.[9]


During his life time, Dokpesi received awards to his credit on behalf of DAAR Communications Plc, and has been conferred with titles from his hometown in appreciation of his tremendous efforts towards Nigeria. His hometown conferred two chieftaincy titles upon him, both of which are only bestowed on worthy sons. He is the Oghieumua and Ezomo of Weppa Wanno, Edo State, as well as the Araba of Osoroland, Okpe. According to Ojewale (2004), as mentioned during the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award ceremony in Accra, and the Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice Geneva Switzerland, Dokpesi was praised for Daar communications rise to the top in Africa and contributions of Radio and Television station that has placed Nigeria on the world map.

Atiku, Murray-Bruce, Momodu, Others Mourn

Prominent Nigerians, among them politicians, captains of industry and media gurus, yesterday mourned the passing of AIT Chairman, Raymond Dokpesi, describing his death as a great loss to the media industry.

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on his Twitter account wrote, “I am in a state of shock! As we say in Islam: from God, we came, and to Him, we return.

“I am in prayers and will continue in prayers! My everlasting and deepest condolences to the Raymond Dokpesi family. May God forgive his sins and grant him eternal rest. Ezemo, not on a date like this should you leave us! -AA.”

A former federal lawmaker, Sen. Shehu Sani, on Twitter, expressed shock at the news of the death of the media icon.

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“I received the shocking news of the demise of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi. He was a detribalised Nigerian and a patriot who has made tremendous contribution to the struggle, restoration and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.

“He raised the bar in professional broadcasting and was a champion of press freedom. He fought many political battles in the pursuit of justice and freedom. Dokpesi was an institution and his life an inspiration. Life is transient. May his soul rest in Peace. Amin,” he said.

Media mogul, Dele Momodu, also shared a condolence message on his Instagram page mourning the death of Dokpesi.

“This is too sad to bear. Our media IROKO is gone… Good night High Chief Dr Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi. May your great soul Rest In Peace,” he said.

Nigerian politician, Ben Murray-Bruce, mourning the media icon on his Twitter page said, “Chief Dokpesi left an indelible mark on the world of media and broadcasting.

“It is with a profound sense of sorrow that I learned of the passing of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a monumental figure whose influence and contribution to society will never be forgotten.

“Chief Dokpesi left an indelible mark on the world of media and broadcasting, instilling a standard of excellence and professionalism that remains unparalleled. His tireless efforts to foster unity and promote progress will always be remembered and appreciated.

“While we mourn this immense loss, we also celebrate a life of purpose and impact. My deepest condolences to the Dokpesi family, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this incredibly difficult time.

“We hope that you find solace in the knowledge that Chief Dokpesi’s legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”

Nigerian singer, Eedris Abdulkareem, on his Instagram page prayed that God comfort  the family and that the soul of Dokpesi rest in peace.

“My condolences to the family of Chief Raymond Dopeso. Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.

“I am thinking of you and your family and sending caring thoughts your way, may the lord rest the soul of chief and grant him eternal rest Amen,” he said.

A visit to AIT office at Kola, in Alagbado area of Lagos State, revealed a sombre environment.

The security personnel on duty refused visitors into the premises, saying “there are  no officials or staff to attend to any interviews  but you can come back tomorrow.”

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Foreign News

Iranian Journalist Shot Dead




An Iranian journalist was shot dead in the country’s south-western province of Khuzestan, Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday.

Akbar Limuchi, the Chief Editor of the Tavsa-e-Jonob (Expansion of the South) newspaper, was killed by a gunman who entered a cafe in Izeh city and opened fire on him.

The attacker managed to flee after the shooting.

Police have launched an investigation to identify the culprit.

Attacks, the motives of which remain unclear, have increasingly been reported in the country in recent weeks.

In April, a senior police investigator and his wife, as well as a senior Iranian cleric, were killed in separate attacks.

In addition, two religious students were injured in a car-ramming incident.

Iran has been gripped by unrest since last autumn, following the death of an Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody for allegedly violating dress codes. (dpa/NAN)

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