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Abiru files N1b libel suit against Lagos PDP media director

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the December 5, 2020 Lagos East Senatorial District bye-election, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, has filed a N1 billion libel suit against the Media Director of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial Campaign for the election, Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse.

Abiru, in the suit marked No: ID/ADR/1608/2020, through his counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), told the Ikeja High Court in Lagos that Pearse caused malicious falsehood to be published and circulated against him on social media and the website of a news platform.

In his statement of claim, 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 October 31, 2020 Lagos East senatorial race.”

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The publication, alleged by Pearse, described Abiru as having the reputation of a rogue banker under whose watch Skye Bank collapsed.Abiru said Pearse “published, authorised the publication and/or caused to be published the words complained of, knowing that 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, who 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-election, asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Pearse from further publishing or causing the defamatory words to be published.

He sought for three other reliefs, including: an order directing Pearse to retract or cause to be retracted the said libelous publication in the same manner and form adopted in the publication of the defamatory words.

“An order directing the defendant to tender 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 within 72 hours of the judgment of this court, and all social media platforms, including, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”

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