Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The traditional ruler of Umueri kingdom in Anambra-east local government area of Anambra State, Igwe Sir Ben Izuchukwu Emeka, has threatened to institute a court action against an online news medium, Sahara Reporters, for the wrong use of his personal picture in an indicting report of financial improprieties and embezzlement of public funds amounting to N150 million.
Sahara Reporters was said to have allegedly reported a missing N150m and that Anambra youths wanted one Igwe Alex Edozieuno arrested and prosecuted over the missing money but the online news medium was said to have published the report with the photograph of the traditional ruler of Umueri.
A press release signed by the palace secretary Mr.Tochukwu Chidebelu and made available to newsmen yesterday in Umueri, demanded an unreserved apology to the traditional ruler and people of Umueri from Sahara Reporters for the wrongful inclusion of the monarch’s personal photograph in what they described as an incriminating report capable of destroying the image and reputation of Igwe Emeka.
The release however read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the online publication of 28th August 2019 and titled:
‘Alleged missing N150 million: Anambra Youths want Igwe Alex Edozieuno arrested, prosecuted’…
“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered responding to this publication, after all, Mkpunando Aguleri is a different community from Umueri community, but for the inclusion of the picture of HRM Igwe Sir Benneth Emeka JP (Oke-ebo II of Umueri) in that publication by Sahara Reporters, an online news media.
“We have observed with total dismay the unfortunate/deliberate use of Igwe Benneth Emeka’s picture to mean that of Igwe Alex Edozieuno in that publication by Sahara Reporters.
“We know that the enemies of Umueri community are still at work, and this being their latest antics/attack on the good people of Umueri and Igwe Benneth Emeka in order to achieve their selfish but failed ambition.
“But we want to categorically state without mincing words – that the picture being circulated in that publication by Sahara Reporters is a total falsehood, and a deliberate act to malign HRM Igwe Sir Benneth Emeka (JP) and the good people of Umueri community.
“In one breath, we imagine that it was a case of mistaken identity, and in another breath we are forced to believe it was a shared deliberate conspiracy and a well thought-out intention to malign the Traditional Stool of Umueri by faceless individuals who have been in the business of peddling falsehood against Umueri community.
“In any case, we demand immediate retraction of that deliberate placement of the picture of HRM Igwe Sir Benneth Emeka JP (Oke-ebo II of Umueri) in that publication. A media outfit like Sahara Reporters should have verified their pictures before using them.
“His Royal Majesty and the good people of Umueri hereby demand a total retraction and official apology to Igwe Benneth Emeka and Umueri people which should be published in all the major Newspaper Dailies including Sahara Reporters within 3 days or face legal actions. Our legal teams have been contacted in this regard.”