Gardaí continuing to investigate violent incident at Four Courts

Gardaí are continuing to investigate a violent incident in the Four Courts earlier this summer, when the defendant in a defamation action was attacked and injured by several individuals.

London-based Nigerian businesswoman Rosala Uvbi Mku-Atu claims she was defamed and threatened in social media posts by Ester Esabod Aboderin.

Shortly before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds considered the defamation action on 31 July 2019, Ms Aboderin claims she was assaulted by persons unknown to her who had attended at the Four Courts.

The defendant claimed she suffered injuries including “cuts and bruises” to her face and body in the incident.

The matter required the intervention of the gardaí and Courts Service staff, who restored order and escorted several persons off the precincts of the Four Courts complex.

Following the incident, Ms Uvbi Mku-Atu’s lawyers said their client had no knowledge about the person’s involvement in the alleged assault, and did not condone what had occurred.

The plaintiff subsequently succeeded in securing a High Court order requiring the defendant to remove threatening and defamatory comments allegedly posted on social media by the defendant.

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.

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

When the matter returned before Ms Justice Reynolds yesterday, Patrick O’Brien BL for the plaintiff said the defendant had breached the terms of the order with a post published on social media in mid-August.

The court heard that the recent post contained comments and statements including wishing the plaintiff “a sudden death”.

Rory Kennedy BL, for Ms Aboderin, said the alleged breach was contested. Counsel said a post could not be removed from Facebook because Facebook had frozen his client’s account.

Mr Kennedy said there is an ongoing Garda investigation into his client’s assault in the Four Courts. One person had been arrested, he added.

Counsel also told the court that his client had been threatened, and expressed his concerns for her safety, especially when she has to return to court.

Ms Justice Reynolds, in adjourning the case to a date later this month, expressed her concerns over the alleged breach of the injunction.

She said that Facebook should be written to immediately by the defendant’s lawyers and asked to unfreeze the account and remove what the judge said could be a potential breach of the injunction.

Noting an undertaking not to post any further material about Ms Uvbi Mku-Atu, the judge said the defendant should be advised of the serious consequences of breaching court orders.

The judge also thanked gardaí for their attendance during the brief court hearing yesterday.

Tags: Court report

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