The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the December 5 senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, Tokunbo Abiru, has filed a N1billion libel suit against the media director of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the poll, Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse.
Abiru, in a suit marked ID/ADR/1608/2020, filed through his lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), at a Lagos High Court in Ikeja, accused Pearse of causing malicious falsehood to be published and circulated against him on social media and the website of a news platform.
In his statement of claims dated November 20 Abiru averred that on October 4, 2020, his attention was drawn to a publication making the rounds on social media platforms, titled: ‘Why Adetokunbo Mukail Abiru must be disqualified from 31st October 2020 Lagos East senatorial race.’
The publication, allegedly by Pearse, was said to have described Abiru as having the reputation of a rogue banker under whose watch Skye Bank collapsed.
“Today, Polaris Bank customers and shareholders are accusing him of fraud. His customers at the bank have convicted him of financial misconduct in the court of public opinion,” the publication alleged.
Abiru said Pearse “published, authorised the publication and/or caused to be published the words complained of knowing they were false, or recklessly as to their truth or falsity.”
He averred that “Pearse had calculated that the benefit to him as the campaign director of the claimant’s opposition political party would outweigh any compensatory damages the claimant may be entitled to.”
Abiru averred further that he was a “highly reputable member of the society who has achieved professional and political success culminating into his nomination by APC to contest the bye-elections.”