Families of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) lynched in 2012 have demanded the suspension of ‘Dark October’, a movie on the infamous incident.
The Aluu Four conflict was a necklace lynching that involved four young men (Ugonna Obuzor, Lloyd Toku, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekena Elkanah).
They were lynched after being falsely accused of theft in the Aluu community, Obio/Akpor LGA on October 5, 2012.
The movie — which is based on the story of the four victims and the events leading up to their tragic deaths — is scheduled to debut on Netflix on February 3.
But in a statement on Wednesday, the affected families, represented by the Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative (TIFPI), said they were not contacted for the project.
The statement signed by Livingstone Wechie, executive director of TIFPI, said the project has “reactivated the trauma and psychological pain that these families have been irrecoverably battling with for the past ten years”.
“For the umpteenth time, I have been instructed in writing through my organisation The Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative TIFPI by the four affected families, that is the parents of late Lloyd Toku-Mike, Chiadika Biringa, Ugonna Obuzor and Tekena Elkanah to represent them and ensure that justice is done in this matter,” the statement reads.
“This is to the effect that Linda Ikeji acted both of her own volition and on a frolic of her own as she failed, refused and neglected to seek the consent of the affected and families/parents of these boys whose names and story of the Aluu 4 incident form the entire essence of the said movie.
“It is important to state that the inexcusable and desperate action of Linda Ikeji on this blood-laced story in what is now christened globally as Aluu 4 or Uniport4 may falsely or arrogantly indicate that these innocent boys do not come from homes and this is not only illegal, it is both inhuman and un-African of one who should know better.
“The production of the advertised movie has deeply reactivated the trauma and psychological pain that these families have been irrecoverably battling with for the past ten years plus and this is unfair. It is on record that Linda Ikeji has never reached out to the affected families since 2012 and this raises questions on her motivation.”
The families also threatened legal action against the film producers.
They added that putting out such a project without their consent is “insensitive, mischievous and unacceptable”.
“To this end, on behalf of the parents/families of the Aluu 4, we hold that the production and distribution of this movie by Linda Ikeji without the consent and consultation with the affected families/parents is insensitive, mischievous and unacceptable,” it reads.
“This can be likened to a brazen copyright theft where a group of persons seek to play a fast one to make tall gains and profiteer from the unquenchable grief of another without recourse to the bereaved families and direct victims.
“We therefore demand that Linda Ikeji and her business partners including Netflix, FilmOne Entertainment Company, etc should by this notice immediately retract and suspend any further actions including the premiering slated for February 3, 2023 and any other date pending and subject to consultations and express consent of the affected families who are at the receiving end of the entire assault.
“In furtherance to this notice for retraction, at this instant time, we have instructed our lawyers to immediately serve Linda Ikeji and her partners a Letter of Caution/Pre-Action Notice with an ultimatum or risk the burden of litigations.”
The film producers are yet to react to the claim by the families as of the time of this report.
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