Salihu Lukman, vice-chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the north-west, says the comments he made about Iyiola Omisore, national secretary of the party, are not false.
On Wednesday, Omisore asked Lukman to pay him N500 million in damages, and retract his comments or face a lawsuit.
The vice-chairman had said the national secretary allegedly mismanaged funds meant for the Osun governorship election, which led to the party’s defeat in the state.
“I’m aware the party has given some campaign funds to Osun which was handled by the national secretary and to some extent, he has either mismanaged it but more importantly, he’s not accounting to anybody and you have to activate the process of accountability,” Lukman was quoted as saying.
In a letter dated March 16 and addressed to Gboyega Oyewole, counsel to Omisore, the APC chieftain said he wanted the national secretary to be accountable.
“In the said letter, you referred to a statement made by our Client in the course of an interview with African Independent Television (AIT) when he featured as a guest in one of their programmes, Jigsaw, hosted by Mr Gbenga Aruleba, which you alleged to have maligned the character of Senator lyiola Omisore in his personal and political stature in Osun state and in Nigeria,” reads the letter by Martins Joseph, counsel to Lukman.
“It is the opinion of our client that the statement he issued as a member and national officer of the All Progressives Congress (the APC) is not false, not malicious, or made to assassinate the character of your client as you suggested in your letter.
“The statement was purely a demand by a member of the APC for accountability from its national secretary.”
In a separate statement, the APC vice-chairman said Omisore was unable to unite the party in Osun.
“I make this appeal respectfully and without any ill-feeling to anyone, including Sen. Omisore,” he said.
“I stand by my position that Sen. Omisore is unable to unite party leaders and members in Osun state, which is responsible for why we lost the election.”
Both men are members of the national working committee (NWC) of the APC.