Nigerian media entrepreneur Chief Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi lived from 25 October 1951 until 29 May 2023. His parents came from a large family of six sisters in Agenebode, Edo State. He established the Nigerian TV network Africa Independent Television (AIT) and entered the Nigerian mass media via his company DAAR Communications. In 2015, he served as the head of the organizing committee for the People’s Democratic Party national conference. His corruption trial was still continuing on as of March 2020. Dokpesi managed to survive a severe COVID-19 infection in May 2020.He had a stroke soon after the 2023 Ramadan fast, and he passed away on May 29, 2023.
Dokpesi began his formal education at Loyola College in Ibadan. After that, he enrolled at Immaculate Conception College (ICC) in Benin City, where he founded the dance/drama ensemble Ozolua Play House. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Benin Edo State and his graduate work in marine engineering at the University of Gdansk in Poland. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur funded his education from the secondary level through the university level.
According to Muyiwa Oyinlola, the government alone controlled Nigerian media in the early 1990s as a result of the historic National Broadcasting Commission edict. Government-owned broadcasting companies were the only ones who could provide information. But the Head of State at the time, General Ibrahim Babangida, issued another directive that permitted Nigerian private broadcasting. Africa Independent Television (AIT), Nigeria’s first private television network, was established in response to this decree. Dokpesi established AIT, which was also the first satellite television channel in Africa.
In addition to being the first satellite TV provider in Nigeria, Dokpesi was also the first privately held radio station. Kolapo, a journalist, reported Raymond’s assertion that AIT established the media industry’s benchmark compensation structure, which Nigerian Television Authority adopted.
Dokpesi began her career as Alhaji Bamaga Tukur’s personal assistant, one of the general administrators of the Nigerian Ports Authority. Dokpesi worked for General Garba Wushishi and Alhaji Umaru Dikko at the Federal Ministry of Transportation as a government servant.
Africa Ocean Lines
Africa Ocean Lines, one of Dokpesi’s initial ventures, was the continent’s first locally owned shipping company when it was founded in the 1980s. Despite its short lifespan, the company made a contribution to Nigeria’s shipping industry by aiding in the development of the 1986 Nigerian Shipping Act Decree, which established the 40:20:20 formula for cargo sharing between developed and developing nations.
Dokpesi introduced RayPower, the nation’s first privately owned FM radio station, in 1994. He started Africa Independent Television two years later.
Expansion in the USA and Europe
Africa Independent Television began broadcasting in the US on September 20, 2003. Currently, AIT is received on the Hotbird satellite by nations in Africa, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and all of Europe.
Dokpesi was involved in politics as well. One of his first political jobs was managing Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s political campaign, which got Tukur elected to the then-Gongola state legislature. In 1993, he played the same position in the campaigns of Tukur, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, and Peter Odili, as well as during the campaigns of Tukur and Ciroma. Dokpesi served as a leader in the South-South People Assembly (SSPA), a group that works to advance Nigeria’s South South population. Dokpesi ran for the PDP National Chairmanship in 2017, but Uche Secondus defeated him.
Criticism and controversy
Dokpesi was detained on October 4th, 2010 for his alleged involvement in the Abuja car bombings. He was freed after nine hours of custody, and he later filed a lawsuit against the nation’s secret police for alleged illegal confinement.
Dokpesi apologized publicly on November 11th on behalf of the PDP party for the poor management of Nigeria under the PDP administration.
“Be clear that the PDP is aware that mistakes were made along the road. We acknowledge that we have made mistakes in the past and have fallen short of Nigerians’ expectations at various points. We sincerely apologize. The past, however, is just what it is. We urge all party members, supporters, and allies to work with us moving ahead.
As the PDP’s presidential candidate in the March 2015 elections, Dokpesi also criticized the PDP for selecting Goodluck Jonathan.
Money-laundering and corruption criminal charges
Dokpesi and his business, Daar Holding and Investment Limited, were accused of participating in a 2.1 billion USD money laundering scheme on December 9 at the Federal High Court in Abuja. The Federal Government (FG) claimed the funds were budgeted for the purchase of weapons for the Nigerian military to combat Boko Haram militants, but Sambo Dasuki, the time’s national security adviser, confirmed they were instead transferred to Dokpesi’s Daar Holding and Investment Limited in order to support President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed court charges with the designation “FHC/ABJ/CR/380/2015” accusing them of breaking the Money Laundering Act, the EFCC Act, and the Public Procurement Act. Justice Gabriel Kolawole, the trial’s presiding judge, released Mr. Dokpesi on bail and continued the case until February 17 of 2016.
Dokpesi was detained on March 22, 2019, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja after returning from receiving medical care in Dubai, but he was quickly freed. He was then taken back to jail. Despite the continuing trial, he was given permission to leave Nigeria in November 2019 for medical reasons.
The Federal Appeal Court of Nigeria cleared Raymond Dokpesi of all allegations of money laundering on Thursday, 1 April 2021.
Illness and death
Dokpesi and family members were admitted to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in 2020 after being given a COVID-19 diagnosis. On May 14, 2020, Dokpesi and two of his grandchildren were released after testing negative for COVID-19 remnants. However, Dokpesi’s son Raymond Jr. and other family members were still receiving therapy at the time of this discharge.
At the age of 71, Dokpesi passed away from a stroke on May 29, 2023.
Awards and honours
He received two chieftaincy titles from his hometown, both of which are only given to deserving sons. Dokpesi was acknowledged for his efforts with DAAR Communications at the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award ceremony in Accra and the Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice in Geneva, Switzerland.
From his early education to his successes in the media industry, Raymond Dokpesi’s journey exemplifies his tenacity, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit. He made a lasting impact on Nigeria’s media scene by founding Africa Independent Television (AIT) and making contributions to the media landscape. Dokpesi has a varied experience that includes engineering, civil service, and entrepreneurship. His influence goes beyond the media to areas of politics and administration.
Where is Raymond Dokpesi from?
The capital and largest city of Oyo State in Nigeria is Ibadan. With a population of 3,649,000 as of 2021 and more than 6 million people living in its metropolitan area, it is the third-largest city in Nigeria by population after Lagos and Kano. By area, it is the biggest city in the nation.
How old is Raymond Dokpesi?
At the age of 71, Dokpesi passed away from a stroke on May 29, 2023.
Who has the highest wife in Nigeria?
The media often refers to Masaba as “the man with 86 wives.” Masaba declined to divorce any of his wives, in contrast to some media accounts that said he had divorced 82 of his 86 wives.