THE embattled president of the Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association of Nigeria (PEDPAN), Idris Oluwaseun Shonuga, has threatenened the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) members with a defamation suit.
The ICIR had on Monday reported the alleged removal of the president by the PEDPAN NEC over allegations of gross misconduct and fraud.
A letter, signed by the principal partner of Jude Ogbodo and associates, Jude Ogbodo Esq., counsel to Shonuga and seen by our reporter, accused PEDPAN NEC members of ganging up against the “sacked” president to publish false allegations about him.
The letter, addressed to the PEDPAN welfare committee chairperson, Tosin Ibiwoye, and four others, instructed the executives to retract the “libellous publication” in three days or face a N50 million lawsuit.
The letter read, “Our Client informed us that some of you in the E-HAILING DRIVERS Association have decided to gang up against our client, who is currently the President/Coordinator of the E-Hailing Drivers Association by publishing all manners of false allegations against our client in various social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, and in the process tagging various organizations, to wit. EFCC, etc, without lawful justification, and thus, your acts of defamation have caused damage to the character and reputation of our client in the eyes of reasonable members of the society.
“We, therefore, by this letter, advise/warn that you retract the libellous publication from the various social media platforms within the next 72 hours or be ready to face a N50 million lawsuit. Again you and your other group members are to render a public apology in the same various social media platforms within the 72 hours ultimatum given to you. If you fail, neglect or refuse to do so as we have demanded of you within the stipulated time frame, we shall have no option but to institute a defamatory suit against you and other members of your clique in the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction.”
In addition, Shonuga has invited the affected NEC members to a police hearing at the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) for an April 7, 2022 appointment.
The letter, signed by Chief Superintendent of Police Mohammed Alkasim, read, “This office is conducting an investigation into a case where your name prominently features. It is, therefore, imperative to invite you for some clarifications to enable a fair hearing,
“In the light of the above, you are kindly requested to report to the Officer-In-Charge, State Intelligence Bureau, Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, through the Team Leader B on Thursday 7” April, 2022 by 10.00hrs prompt.
“Your co-operation in this regard would be appreciated. Please, accept the esteemed regards of the Officer In-Charge, State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), Lagos.”
Some of the members of the association who spoke with The ICIR asserted that the president was no longer their representative.
Ibiwoye said, “All we demanded was accountability. All we wanted from him is to give us an account of how he spent our association’s money. That is all we wanted. He took over the treasurer’s job and refused to give an account as at when due.”
The Lagos State Council Chairman of PEDPAN, Jaiyesimi Azeez, maintained that Shonuga was no longer a leader of the association but a member.
Azeez said, “As it is now, Idris Shonuga is no longer the PEDPAN president. He and the secretary have been voted out and are not representing PEDPAN interest. He accused the excos of defamation of character. So far, five people have gotten the letter. Some were invited to Panti, and others to the SIB, Ikeja Police Command.
“Idris has been given a long rope. He was also given an MoU to sign, which he reneged on. He is not representing us and he is no longer our president. He should disassociate himself from the PEDPAN NEC. We are backing our NEC members. He is no longer an executive or president.”
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