The family of Super TV CEO, late Michael Usifo Ataga, has issued a statement calling for an in-depth investigation of the murder of Ataga and urged the police to go beyond the arrest of the suspect to get to the bottom of the case.
In a statement entitled ‘Libelous Publications In Respect of Murder Of Michael Usifo Ataga: Demand For Restraint By Social Media Practitioners/Persons’, by Rickey Tarfa & Co, solicitor to the family, on Saturday night, urged people it claimed were behind malicious social media publications to refrain from publishing falsehood that impinges negatively on the integrity of the deceased, wife and children or face lawsuits.
The statement signed by Olusegun Jolaawo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), on behalf of the law firm, urged Nigerians to allow the police to conduct its investigations without any distraction 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,” Jolaawo said in the statement.
He said “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”.
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“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,” he further stated.
The lawyer lamented that the tragic incident of the cold blooded murder of late Michael Ataga has 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.
“Our client at this juncture requests that the well-meaning 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 demand 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 insist that the police be allowed to do their work,” Jolaawo said in the statement.
“Our client hereby demand 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”.
Meanwhile, Vanguard had earlier reported that Chidinma Adaorah, a 21-year-old 300-level female student of University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Thursday, claimed that she stabbed Super TV CEO, Michael Ataga, to death in self-defence.
The student said this when she was presented by the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr Hakeem Odumosu at the command headquarters.
The student who said she was arrested at her residence at Alagomeji, Yaba, where she resides with her parents, said that she met Ataga about five months ago.
“On a Sunday, June 13, he asked that I get a place where we can stay. I checked online and sent to him, he asked me to go check it out which I did and paid.
“On Monday, June 14, we were together drinking, smoking and I also went to get food. On Tuesday, June 15, he was making advances at me and I resisted, so he became violent and later had his way.
“In the afternoon he ordered for smoke, ate and we became high because I also smoked with him even though I was still angry for the first one he did.
“So, I was on my own, watching a movie on the couch. He came at me again and I said no because I wasn’t happy with him.
“I told him that he doesn’t help me but only plays me around, he kept trying to make advances and I was resisting so I had to defend myself.
“At some point, he hit my head on the wall and was choking me. I tried escaping but the door was locked so he pulled me back.
“I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him twice in the neck and threw the knife on the bed.
“He then tried reaching for the knife so I picked it again and stabbed him the third time.” she said.
“She said she only withdrew N380,000 from Ataga’s account after she had escaped and not N5 million.
“Odumosu, while addressing newsmen, said the student hurriedly changed her cloths and left the appartment.
“Odumosu said that Ataga’s body was discovered in a pool of blood when it was time to clean the appartment on Wednesday, June 16, during which the door had to be broken.
“Odumosu said the suspect escaped with the victim’s Automated Teller Machine(ATM) card which was used in withdrawing some money from his account.
“The commissioner of police said he deemed it necessary to brief the public on the update on the investigation, noting that as there had been fake reports in circulation as regards the incident.
“Odumosu further urged the public to utilise the social media positively and not for fake report.
Also, Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, in his reaction to the development said she (Chidinma) is a symptom of rot in the society.
According to Omokri, “Everybody is in a rush to demonise Chidinma.
“But it takes 2 to tango. She was 21. He was 50. A 29 year age gap. She could have been his daughter. How many of you condemning her were mature at 21?
“She erred. But is also a victim. Of bad parenting and a bad society
“…note that Nigeria prioritises wealth over morals. We are a society that celebrated a billionaire, who already had a harem, for marrying his granddaughter’s age mate.
“That was our own Cinderella story. And we are surprised we ended up with Chidinma?
“Chidinma has obviously been corrupted by the ‘small girl with a big God’ phenomenon. If not that their drug induced orgy ended in murder, the man could have been funding Chidinma’s lifestyle and she would be motivating young girls on Nigerian blogs with her success.
“Where do you think all these surgically enhanced ‘small girl with a big god’ motivators get money to inflate their buttocks and breasts?
“They claim to have businesses you can never see. In truth, they are senior Chidinmas, with their own ‘big gods’ in Banana Island.
“Nigeria should wake up and smell the coffee. Chidinma is a symptom of the rot in society. We are now a society of ‘no car key, no chase me’, and ‘no Range Rover, no arrange me as your lover’.
“The Chidinmas that are not caught are more than the ones that are caught”.
“We must understand that our society has now become one where if a man has enough sugar to spread, he will have many daughters and become a sugar father Abraham.
“We worship money too much. And it is putting a strain on our youth. Let’s address this!”