The House of Representatives has kicked against multiple media interviews of Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect in the murder of Super TV CEO, Usifo Ataga.
Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level mass communication student at the University of Lagos, was arrested in the Lekki neighborhood of Lagos on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, for the alleged murder of super TV CEO, Usifo Ataga.
She has since been subjected to various rounds of press conferences and multiple interviews.
However, during the plenary session yesterday, July 13, the House expressed concern that since her arrest, Chidinma has been paraded around, granting interviews to various several news platforms, thereby causing the internet and news media to be agog with the discussion and dissecting the matter. However, they have asked the police to ensure that there is no repeat of violation of human rights such as media access to arrested persons in the future to avoid compromising the case in a court of law.
According to the motion moved by the member representing Oluyole federal constituency of Oyo State, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, the law of Nigeria does not allow for social media trials and matters that are sub-judice (meaning before the court or not yet judicially decided) are not to be discussed by the media.
In her words;
“Cognizant that Section 36/5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that every person who is charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty. Thus so long Ms. Ojukwu has not been proven guilty by the court of competent jurisdiction, she is not to be labeled a criminal or paraded about to conduct series of interviews on a case currently under investigation. Rather, the police are to conduct a proper investigation and allow the court to consider the matter and make an informed judgment.”