Here are 16 things you need to know about Raymond Dokpesi and AIT:
1. Founder of AIT: Raymond Dokpesi is the founder and chairman of Africa Independent Television (AIT), which was established in 1996. AIT is known for its diverse programming and is considered one of the pioneers of private broadcasting in Nigeria.
2. Media Entrepreneur: Dokpesi is widely recognized as a media entrepreneur, and he has made significant contributions to the development of the Nigerian media landscape. Through AIT, he has played a crucial role in providing a platform for independent journalism and diverse viewpoints.
3. Career in Broadcasting: Before founding AIT, Raymond Dokpesi worked in various broadcasting roles. He started his career at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and later served as the Director of Administration and Programmes at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
4. Influence in Politics: Dokpesi has had some involvement in Nigerian politics. He contested for the position of National Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2017 but was unsuccessful in his bid.
5. Legal Troubles: Dokpesi has faced legal challenges in the past. In 2015, he was arrested and charged with money laundering related to the arms deal scandal in Nigeria. However, he has consistently maintained his innocence and has been involved in legal battles to clear his name.
6. Philanthropic Activities: Apart from his media ventures, Raymond Dokpesi has also engaged in philanthropic activities. He has established foundations and contributed to various initiatives focused on education, healthcare, and community development.
7. AIT's Programming: AIT is known for its diverse programming, which includes news, current affairs, entertainment, and sports. The station has played a significant role in providing a platform for the expression of different perspectives and promoting democratic discourse in Nigeria.
8. Controversies: AIT and Dokpesi have been involved in several controversies over the years. The station has faced government sanctions and suspensions at various times, with accusations of biased reporting and violating broadcasting regulations.
9. International Recognition: AIT under Dokpesi's leadership has received international recognition and awards. The station has been commended for its contributions to broadcasting in Nigeria and its efforts to promote free speech and independent journalism.
10. Vision for Media Development: Raymond Dokpesi has consistently advocated for the development of the media industry in Nigeria. He believes in the power of the media to shape public opinion, drive socio-political change, and hold those in power accountable.
11. He was the organising committee chairman of the People's Democratic Party national conference in 2015.
12. Dokpesi started as the personal assistant to Alhaji Bamaga Tukur one of the general manager of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
13. Raymond Dokpesi also served as a civil servant in the Federal Ministry of Transport under Alhaji Umaru Dikko and General Garba Wushishi.
14. The association of Raymond Dokpesi with the likes of the Tukurs and the late Abiola, resulted in the birth of African Ocean Lines (AOL).
15. In May 2020, Dokpesi survived COVID-19.
16. He suffered a stroke shortly after the 2023 Ramadan fast, and eventually died on May 29, 2023.