High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the Chairman of DAAR Communications has died at the age of 71, his son announced on Monday.
Dokpesi is the founder of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower.
All Nigeria Latest News reports that his son, Raymond Dokpesi Jnr, announced his father’s death in a statement.
The statement reads: “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of High Chief Raymond Aleogho Anthony Dokpesi (Ezomo of Weppa-Wanno Kingdom) who passed away on May 29th, 2023.
“High Chief Dokpesi was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
“High Chief Dokpesi was also a respected and accomplished businessman, a pioneer in the media industry, and a philanthropist who dedicated his life to the service of his country and his community. His legacy will live on through the impact he made on the lives of many.
“The Dokpesi family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of our patriarch. We also ask for privacy during this time as we grieve together as a family.
“The family will release further details on the funeral arrangements in due course. May his soul rest in peace.”
Dokpesi was born on 25 October, 1951 in Ibadan, Oyo State. His parents are from Agenebode, Edo state in a family including six sisters siblings. He entered the Nigerian mass media industry with his company DAAR Communications and set-up the Nigerian TV network Africa Independent Television (AIT).
He was the organizing committee chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party national conference in 2015. As of March 2020, he was still undergoing a trial on corruption charges. In May 2020, Dokpesi became a COVID-19 survivor. He suffered a stroke shortly after the 2023 Ramadan fast, and eventually died on May 29, 2023.
In the early 1990s, as a result of the historic National Broadcasting Commission decree, 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.