With vast investment in the broadcast media, Raymond Dokpesi wields enormous power in Nigeria, which he has never feared to use for political gains. His radio business was used to fight the attempt by General Ibrahim Babangida to remain in power after the widely-condemned annulment of the June 12 election in 1993. The same Dokpesi, faced with enormous financial difficulties has now offered to use his media empire for the benefit of the former dictator, having declared himself the chairman of Babangida's presidential campaign. He is, therefore, no longer on the side of the people. Dokpesi's big fall is a tragedy. Africa International Television and all business interests of Raymond Dokpesi have become an enemy of the people of Nigeria.
Past: Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi was born in the year 1951 in Ibadan, Nigeria, of Agenebode, Edo state parents. Dokpesi is the only son of his mother. He has six sisters. 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 was also part of the pioneer students of University of Benin Edo state where he did his undergraduate studies. He completed his studies in University of Gdansk, Poland where he earned his Doctorate degree in Marine Engineering under the sponsorship of Alharji Bamanga Tukur who saw him through his secondary school days to his University level.
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).
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. 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.
Raymond Dokpesi also has 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 organization that seeks to promote south-south people of Nigeria.
Dokpesi has been criticized on financial matters. According to the chieftain of South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA) Ikponmwen, (2006) charged in 2006 that Dokpesi did not disclose the source of SSPA funding and accounts. Likewise, staff at AIT protested when Dokpesi cut their salaries twice over alleged poor transmission signals. His actions were understood by many employees as a breach of contract. Dokpesi is still criticized for AIT’s bad salary structure.