Gardaí called to Four Courts after alleged attack on defendant in defamation action

There were violent scenes requiring the intervention of gardaí and security in the Four Courts yesterday, when the defendant in a defamation action was allegedly attacked and injured by a group of individuals who attended court.

The individuals alleged to be involved had attended an action brought by London-based Nigerian businesswoman Rosala Uvbi Mku-Atu, who claims she has been defamed and threatened in social media posts by Ester Esabod Aboderin.

Shortly before the case was due to be heard by Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds, a violent fracas involving up to 20 individuals who had attended the case broke out in the area just outside the Supreme Court, shocking onlookers.

Court staff called for the assistance of the gardaí, who attended at the scene within minutes. After order was restored, gardaí and courts staff escorted several individuals involved in the incident off the precincts of the Four Courts complex.

The individuals were earlier present in Court 3 of the Four Courts for the call-over of chancery cases called. They were asked to leave by Ms Justice Reynolds after some of them became loud and agitated.

When the hearing commenced before the judge, Rory Kennedy BL for Ms Esabod Aboderin said his client had been “seriously assaulted” by unknown parties and had suffered injuries including “cuts and bruises” to her face and body in the incident.

A complaint has been made to the gardaí about the assault, counsel said.

In reply, Patrick O’Brien BL for Ms Uvbi Mku-Atu, who was not in court, said his client had “no knowledge” about the people who were involved in the incident outside the courtroom, and “did not condone” what had occurred.

Ms Justice Reynolds, who noted that gardaí were investigating the incident which took place outside of court, agreed to adjourn the case, with the previous week’s orders remaining in place to October.

Aodhan O Faolain, Ireland International News Agency Ltd.

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