…threatens to sue bloggers over ‘malicious’ publications
Family of the late Super TV Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Michael Usifo Ataga, has called for an in-depth investigation into his murder. It also urged the police to go beyond the arrest of Ataga’s suspected murderer, Chidinma Ojukwu, to get to the root of the case.
The 21-year-old Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Ojukwu, was arrested and paraded by the police in Lagos for Ataga’s murder.
Also, the family, through its solicitor, Rickey Tarfa & Co, urged those behind malicious social media publications to refrain from publishing falsehood which impinged negatively on the integrity of the deceased, wife and children or face lawsuits.
The law firm, in a statement entitled; “Libellous publications in respect of murder of Michael Usifo Ataga: Demand for restraint by social media practitioners/persons,” and signed by Olusegun Jolaawo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), urged Nigerians to allow the police to conduct their investigations without any disweak traction or interference.
“We hereby admonish the publishers of these stories to employ whatever shreds of decency and decorum they can find in themselves to desist from their false and misleading stories and let the investigating authorities carry out effective investigation in the hope of apprehending the perpetrators of this heinous crime and their accomplices.
“Yes we know that Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu has been arrested and yes we know that investigation is continuing. Our client is, however, convinced that there is much more to this than is already apparent from the police investigation.
“It has become apparent even to the most undiscerning reader that from the variety and inherent malice in most of the said publications that they are planted to embarrass and malign Usifo Ataga, Brenda Ataga and the family, and to serve as a smokescreen to enable the perpetrators of the heinous crime cover their tracks.
“Our client appreciates the efforts of the law enforcement agencies in their investigations thus far, and will not descend into particulars with respect to any of the said false narratives so as not to inadvertently aid the perpetrators of the murder in covering their tracks,” the statement reads in part.
Jolaawo regretted that Ataga’s murder had inundated all strata of the media with inconceivable stories being peddled on all sorts of platforms about the incident and therefore called for restraints from the publishers of the unfounded stories.
He added: “Our client, at this juncture, requests that the wellmeaning public allow the family to mourn their departed son, father and husband with some privacy and decency.
Our client also feels very strongly about the unbridled activities of bloggers on the social media space with respect to this incident and firmly demands that the said bloggers cease and desist from peddling falsehood aimed at maligning the deceased, wife and children.
The family will not be intimidated by these bloggers’ activities and insists that the police be allowed to do their work.
“Our client hereby demands that the false publications and the several ordinarily unrelated stories and pictures of late Michael Usifo Ataga and Brenda Ataga be pulled down with immediate effect failing which our client shall take prompt and appropriate action to seek redress for the apparent instances of libel and slander as appropriate.”