Tokunbo Abiru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, has threatened to file N1 billion suit against Adetokunbo Pearse, the Media Director of the People Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial Campaign Council, for alleged character defamation.
Abiru, who is the immediate past Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank Limited, has also asked Pearse to retract all defamatory publications against his person within seven days, or he will consider legal proceedings if he fails to comply with the demands.
He gave the conditions in a letter of claims his legal counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, a senior advocate, wrote to the media director of the PDP Senatorial Campaign Council, faulting the statements credited to him on the points of law.
Pearse had reportedly called for Abiru’s disqualification from the senatorial contest in Lagos East, alleging that the APC candidate is guilty of double registration, which Abiru denied.
Pearse had also in a statement he signed, alleged that Skye Bank Plc “collapsed under Abiru’s leadership” and that Polaris customers “are today accusing Abiru of fraud”.
Read Also: Kwara Man Commits Suicide Over N200,000 Debt
However, in the letter of claims dated October 4, 2020, by his legal counsel, Abiru noted that Pearse’s allegations amount to a very serious case of libel, which he said has caused him considerable distress and embarrassment.
The letter added that all the allegations made against Abiru “are false to your knowledge and your attack on him was unjustified, malicious and callous”.
“In demonstration of factual inaccuracy in your allegations, there is no criminal charge pending against, or a conviction of, our client on the allegation of financial impropriety in the bank or voter fraud.
“If indeed Skye Bank Plc collapsed under his leadership, which is false, we wonder how come he was retained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the Chief Executive Officer of the Polaris Bank Limited”, the counsel wrote.
Abiru, in his legal counsel’s letter, demanded that the PDP’s media director retract all defamatory claims against him and tender apology to be approved by his legal counsel.
Read Also: Gunmen Kidnap Female Lawyer In Rivers
“We have also advised our client that he is entitled to substantial compensation for the injury of his reputation and feelings in respect of which we invite your proposal. Our clients also demand from your all the legal costs he has incurred so far on this matter.
“If we do not receive a satisfactory reply within seven days of receipt of this letter, our instructions are to commence legal proceedings against your persons, without further recourse to you, wherein our client shall claim against you.
“The claims are as follows damages, including exemplary damages, in the sum of N1, 000,000,000.00 for libel contained in your defamatory publication; injunction restraining further publication in any manner related to the similar words defamatory of our client and an order directing you to retract or cause to be retracted the said defamatory words in the same form adopted in your publication,” Abiru’s counsel said in the letter.
Read Also: Man Utd Sign Edinson Cavani On Free Transfer
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had in 2016, appointed Abiru as the CEO of Skye Bank Plc, when the bank recorded about 80 per cent non-performing loans, far above the regulatory standard.
According to reports, Abiru executed a transformation plan that brought the bank from liability to profitability, which culminated in the establishment of a bridge bank, Polaris Bank.