The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming Lagos East Senatorial District bye-election, Babatunde Gbadamosi, has demanded N1bn in compensation from the spokesman for the All Progressives Congress in Lagos, Seye Oladejo, over alleged defamation.
In a pre-action letter written by his lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), to Oladejo, Gbadamosi claimed that the APC spokesman defamed him by claiming that he (Gbadamosi) forged the certificate of the West African Examination Council, submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Gbadamosi contended that the forgery claim against him by Oladejo, which was widely reported in the media, both online and in print, was a calculated attempt to diminish his chances in the forthcoming bye-election.
Adegboruwa said Oladejo’s forgery and perjury allegations falsely portrayed his client as “a criminally-minded, corrupt and socially-irresponsible citizen, who falsified and/or forged his WAEC certificate.”
“Ultimately, the purport and clear effect of your statement published to the world is to falsely suggest that our client, Mr Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, criminally forged his West African Examination Council certificate. Knowing well that our client is the flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in the coming Lagos East senatorial election and yourself, being the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, your ulterior motive was smear the name of our client, with a view to portraying him as a criminal and a corrupt person who is not fit and proper to hold an elective position,” Adegboruwa said in the letter to Oladejo.
The SAN said he had the instructions of his client to demand an immediate retraction of the statement from Oladejo and for the APC spokesman to tender “an express and unambiguous apology to be published in four national dailies, circulating in all parts of Nigeria within seven days of the receipt of this letter.”
In addition, he demanded that Oladejo should pay N1bn compensation to his client and make an undertaking to desist from further defaming Gbadamosi.
Adegboruwa said Oladejo had only seven days to meet the demands, failing which his client would drag him to court.
Ahead of the bye-election, the APC and the PDP have been embroiled in legal battles.
Gbadamosi had in a suit, through Adegboruwa, sought an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos, disqualifying the candidate of the APC, Tokunbo Abiru, from participating in the election over alleged possession of double voter cards.
APC and Abiru, in turn, filed a suit, seeking Gbadamosi’s disqualification on the grounds of alleged forgery of WAEC certificate.