New Telegraph

February 25, 2024

Ataga’s murder: Witness’ non-composure stall trial of Chidinma, others 

The trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged murder suspect of Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga, before a Lagos High Court at Tafa Balewa Square, TBS, was on Monday stalled due to non-composure of the witness.

Chidinma is standing trial alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one, Adedapo Quadri, over Ataga’s murder before Justice Yetunde Adesanya.

At the resumed hearing of the matter Monday, prosecuting lawyer, Yusuf Sule, sought for an adjournment of the matter till Tuesday because the witness just came in from Asaba and is not yet composed to face the rigour of examination and cross-examination.

Sule said: “We would be asking for an adjournment for tomorrow (Tuesday) on the ground that the witness we are calling just came in from Asaba this morning and he is not really composed.”

In the absence of any opposition from the defence lawyers, Justice Adesanya granted the prosecution’s request.

At the last adjourned date, a businessman, Ifeoluwa Oluwo, narrated to the court how he bought Ataga’s Apple MacBook Laptop, for N495, 000, from Chidinma.

He said that he bought the laptop from the first defendant after negotiations, on June 18, 2021 (two days after the body of Ataga was found at a short service apartment in Lekki).

The witness told the court that it was after the sale of the laptop, that they saw her (defendant) face on social media, regarding a murder case connected to her, and that the name was very familiar to the customer they had business with earlier, so he ensured that all her documents were kept handy.

The witness, who was the third prosecution witness, narrated that the first defendant (Chidinma), was a customer, who made a purchase of a phone on April 30, 2021 and also made a sale of her laptop on June 18, 2021, at the same office.

The three defendants were arraigned on October 12 on a nine-count charge preferred against them by Lagos State Government.

Ojukwu and Quadri are facing eight counts of conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing, while the third defendant, Egbuchu, is facing the at count of stealing iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.

The first and second defendants were alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him severally with a knife on the neck and chest at No. 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

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