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Businesswoman secures injunction over defamatory and threatening Facebook and Youtube posts

National News

Businesswoman secures injunction over defamatory and threatening Facebook and Youtube posts

The injunction was secured at the High Court

A Nigerian businesswoman has secured temporary High Court order aimed at having threatening and defamatory comments allegedly posted on social media platforms by an Irish-based woman removed.  

The interim injunction was granted by Ms Justice Leoine Reynolds in favour of Rosala Uvbi Mku-Atu against Ester Esabod Aboderin, of Easton Green, Leixlip, Co Kildare. 

The businesswoman, from Maitama Abuja in Nigeria but currently residing in London due to ill health, is involved in property development and electricity distribution businesses, and is also involved in philanthropy. 

Represented by Thomas Hogan SC, Ms Uvbi Mku-Atu says that since May the defendant, who she does not know and has never met, has published numerous false, malicious, harmful, threatening and untruthful comments about her. 

The comments relate to the plaintiff's businesses, her philanthropy, and her personal reputation. Other comments, it is claimed, include threats to kill Ms Uvbi Mku-Atu and expressing a wish for her death in unpleasant ways. 

The comments are contained in videos posted on Facebook and Youtube.  It is claimed they have already reached a significant audience and have had thousands of views. 

More recent posts by the defendant, it is claimed, call on Ms Esabod Aboderin's online supporters to attack Ms Uvbi Mku-Atu.

The allegedly defamatory material has also been shared and republished by thousands of others, it is claimed.   

After Ms Uvbi Mku-Atu's lawyers wrote to the defendant asking her to take down the material, the defendant published more allegedly defamatory material using an online alias. 

The plaintiff in a sworn statement to the High Cout said she does not know why the defendant has launched such an "unprovoked attack" on her good name.

The plaintiff says she is very upset, embarrassed and concerned about the material. She has had many inquiries about the posts from business people about the "false accusations" made in the posts.

At the High Court on Friday Ms Justice Reynolds granted the plaintiff an interim injunction directing the defendant or anyone aware of the making of the order to remove the material complained of from the various social media platforms. 

The injunction also prevents the defendant from publishing any further material similar to that which is complained of. The order further restrains the defendant and others from threatening, intimidating, harming, besetting or inciting others to do  

The Judge said she was satisfied to grant the orders, and expressed her concerns about the threats contained in some of the posts. 

The Judge also made orders under Section 33 of the 2009 Defamation Act which prohibits the reporting of the allegedly defamatory comments.  

The Judge had earlier this week granted the plaintiff's lawyers permission to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the defendant. 

However, when the case returned before the Judge on Friday the defendant was not in court. An email sent to the court on the defendant's behalf said she was out of the country and would not return till sometime next week.

Mr Hogan told the court that comments were made on social media that clearly showed that the defendant was aware of the proceedings against her. 

The judge, in adjourning the case to next week, said the defendant should furnish Ms Ubvi Mku-Atu's lawyers with proof she had been abroad such as an airline ticket. 

In light of the seriousness of the matters complained of, the judge also said that it was in the defendant's best interests to be in court when the matter returns before the court. 

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