THE All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the December 5 senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, Mr Tokunbo Abiru, has filed a N1billion libel suit against the media director of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial Campaign for the elections, Dr Adetokunbo Pearse.
Abiru, through his counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), told the Ikeja High Court in Lagos that Pearson caused malicious falsehood to be published and circulated against him on social media and the website of a news platform.
In his November 20 statement of claim, Abiru averred that on October 4, 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.’
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The publication, allegedly by Pearson, 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 Pearson “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 Pearson 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.