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Nigerian Media Mogul, Raymond Dokpesi Released After London Airport Scenario

The founder of a leading broadcasting organization in Nigeria, Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi has been released today. His release comes hours after he was allegedly arrested and delayed by Immigration officers at Heathrow Airport in London, after arriving on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt earlier this week.

Although the reasons for the arrest were not initially disclosed, reports say he had been invited to London by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at the request of the British government to share perspectives on issues around Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.

Dokpesi, who serves as the deputy director-general of the technical and systems division of Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign council, hails from Agenebode, Edo state. He began his media journey when he launched the country’s first private FM radio station in Nigeria, RayPower, and the First African Televised Station, Africa Independent Television in 1996.

Before his journey into the media, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi started as the personal assistant to one of the general managers of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Alhaji Bamaga Tukur.  After that, he worked in the Federal Ministry of Transport under Alhaji Umaru Dikko and General Garba Wushishi, as a civil servant. His active service and relationship with Tukur and Late Moshood Abiola birthed the first indigenous Shipping Line in Africa named African Ocean Lines (AOL).

Established in the 1980s, AOL formed the basis for the Nigerian Shipping Industry as it formed the basis for the introduction of the Nigerian Shipping Act Decree in 1986. The shipping line which did not function for long facilitated the 40:20:20 cargo-sharing formula between developed and developing countries.

The media mogul has also been privileged to serve as a political campaign manager for several political contenders. He was also the organizing committee chairman of the People’s Democratic Party national conference in 2015. Reports have it that he contested for the PDP National Chairmanship position in 2017, but lost to Uche Secondus. 

Recall that in 2015, Dokpesi and his company, Daar Holding and Investment Limited, were named in a $2.1-billion money laundering scheme linked to Sambo Dasuki, a retired Nigerian military officer and Former National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. 

After pleading not guilty to the charges levied against him and going through several court proceedings, the Media mogul was acquitted of all laundering charges in 2021. However, It is not clear if his recent delay at Heathrow Airport is related to his earlier criminal and corruption charges.

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