Usifo Ataga: Absence Of Chidinma’s Counsel Stalls Alleged Murder Trial

Due to the absence of Chidinma Ojukwu’s attorney, the trial of the main suspect in the death of the late Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Michael Usifo Ataga, was postponed on Tuesday.

The trial was then postponed till June 8 by Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos High Court, who was sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square.

Chidinma, a former student at the University of Lagos studying mass communication at the 300-level, is currently on trial with Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu for nine counts of theft, forgery, and possible murder. The charges were brought by the Lagos State Government.

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At the case’s resumed hearing, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, the deputy director of public prosecutions, informed the court that she had received a communication from Ojukwu’s attorney, Mr. Onwuka Egwu, informing her that he was ill.

She claimed that the attorney also mentioned that because his junior attorneys were involved in other court cases, they would not be able to appear in the case.

However, Oluwafemi informed the court that her own witness who was to testify was present.

The attorneys for the second and third defendants, Mr. Babatunde Busari and Miss P. O. Okpagbo, were present in court and did not protest to the first defendant’s attorney’s absence.

The case was subsequently postponed by Justice Adesanya.

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Two handwritten comments given by Chidinma were entered into evidence by the court on May 4, the penultimate postponement date.

Justice Yetunde Adesanya held that the prosecution showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Chidinma made the statements voluntarily and without coercion in her decision regarding a trial within trial to evaluate the voluntariness of the statements.

Chidinma, who was enrolled in the University of Lagos’ 300-level mass communication program at the time of the crime and is currently on trial with another man named Adedapo Quadri for the murder of Super TV CEO Usifo Ataga.

On October 12 of last year, both were presented in court for arraignment.

According to reports, the murder took place at a serviced apartment in the Lekki neighborhood of Lagos State.

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The two were charged with nine counts, including conspiracy, murder, forgery, theft, and possession of stolen goods, by the Lagos State Government together with a third defendant, Chidinma Egbuchu, who is Chidinma’s sister.

They all entered not-guilty pleas.

Chidinma and Adedapo are accused of planning to kill Usifo Ataga in violation of Section 233 of the Lagos 2015 Criminal Laws in count one.

In count two, Chidinma and Adedapo are accused of killing Usifo Ataga, which is alleged to have been done by repeatedly stabbing him in the neck and chest with a knife.

Chidinma and Adedapo are accused of conspiring to commit forgery, forging, and making documents without authorization in charges three, four, five, six, and seven. Particularly, it was claimed that they had obtained fictitious Access Bank and UBA bank account statements for Usifo Ataga. Additionally, they are accused of forging a driver’s license and an international passport. In the name of Chidinma.

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In count eight, Chidinma is accused of stealing two iPhones—an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 11—as well as a MacBook computer, an Access and Guaranty Trust Bank ATM card, and N380,000—all of which belonged to the late Ataga.

Egbuchu was accused in count nine of having the late man’s iPhone 7 that had been reported stolen.

On June 16, Usifo’s lover, Chidinma, and he booked into a short-let flat on Adebowale Oshin Street in Lekki Phase I where Usifo was found dead with several stab wounds.

As a result, she was detained on June 23 at her father’s home in Yaba and taken to the Ikeja headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command.

On July 30, the 50-year-old deceased was buried in a private ceremony that was also attended by friends and relatives.


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