Adetokunbo Abiru, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Lagos-East Senatorial by-election has filed a N1bn defamation suit against Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, spokesperson for Babatunde Gbadamosi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the senatorial district.
Abiru filed the defamation suit over an article allegedly written by Pearse and shared across social media with the title, “Why Adetokunbo Mukail Abiru Must Be Disqualified From The October 31, 2020, Lagos East Senatorial Race”.
In the case with suit number ID/ADR/1608/2020 filed before High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja Judicial Division, Abiru claimed that the article portrayed him “as a thief, rogue, rascal banker, incapable of good leadership, ineffective leader, fraudulent, of a decadent character, involved in financial impropriety and a person of undesirable and questionable character.”
“The defendant authorised the publication and caused to be published the words complained of, knowing they were false, or recklessly as to their truth or falsity.
“The claimant shall, at the trial of this suit, contend that the defendant willfully and maliciously proceeded to falsely portray the claimant as a person of undesirable and questionable character,” the lawsuit reads partly.
He noted that as a result of the ‘malicious publication’, he was inundated with several calls from friends, family members and political allies who were surprised and embarrassed about the alleged financial impropriety.
He, thereby, prayed the court for damages in the sum of N1bn for libel contained in the defendant’s defamatory publication and order of “perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, his agents, servants, privies or howsoever from further publishing or causing to be published the defamatory words contained in the defendant’s libellous publication complained about.”
He also prayed the court to give an order for a retraction of the publication and an “unreserved apology in the form and manner to be prescribed by the solicitors to the claimant and publish same in one full page insertion in three national dailies to wit: ThisDay, The Guardian and Punch Newspaper within 72 hours of the judgment of this Honourable Court, and all social media platforms including, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”
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