A businessman, Mr, Ifeoluwa Oluwo, has told a Lagos State High Court, sitting at Tafa Balewa Square, TBS, that he has no knowledge that the Apple MacBook Laptop, he bought from Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect of Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga, murder was proceed of crime.
Oluwo who is the third prosecution witness, was led in evidence by the Lagos State prosecuting counsel, Mr Yusuf Sule.
He said that he bought the Laptop from the first defendant, for the sum of N495,000, after negotiations, on June 18, 2021. (two days after the body of Ataga was found at the short service apartment in Lekki).
The witness told the court that it was after the sale of the Laptop, that he saw Chidinma’s face on social media, regarding a murder case connected to her, and that the name was very familiar to the customer he had business with earlier, so he ensured that all her documents were kept intact.
Chidinma Ojukwua a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, and two others are facing charges over Ataga’s murder.
Ojukwu is standing trial alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri.
The witness said he deals in the sales of Phones, Laptops and accessories at Computer Village, and has been in the business for five years.
Chidinma, had on June 13, 2021, requested for the short service apartment where Ataga was found dead and left the apartment on June 15, before the corpse of Ataga was discovered on June 16, 2021.
The witness who testified before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, and Identified the first defendant (Chidinma), narrated that she 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.
He told the court that they buy and sell brand new phones and fairly used phones.
He said: “On June 18, 2021, Chidinma brought a MacBook Pro Laptop, which was sold for N495,000, after negotiations and market value comparison.
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“In order to make a sale you have to submit some documents and fill form, your government Identification card, I.e driver’s license, international passport, voter’s card, NIN.
“You also have to fill a form which includes email, phone number, house address, full name, it will also contain the full value of the item, for that day, the name of the item and the serial number of the item, this is what we do to contact customer if there is any issues,” he said.
The witness further told the court that as at the time the first defendant walked in to his office, he was not around but that he was called in later for the final inspection of the Laptop.
He said that he inspected the Laptop physically, but that he was unable to access it initially.
Oluwo further said: “I asked her to unlock the Laptop and she did, so I conducted my internal observation which included speed performance, the circle count of the battery and general functionality.
“After that, I proceeded to ask questions: do you have a receipt for this Laptop? She started that it was a gift from her boyfriend, and that she has two Laptops and needed to sell one to pay for some bills.
“I conducted a check on Apple website for my market evaluation, I confirmed the value of the Laptop, from Apple website, found my mark and market valuation, was $1000 to $1,200, the exchange rate of Dollars as at that time was N400 to N450.
“She wanted to sell for N600,000, we were able to negotiate for N495,000, which I initiated from my UBA account to her Sterling bank account”, he said.
Oluwo further told the court when asked if the first defendant proceed the receipt of the Laptop, he said that she was not able to provide the receipt as she insisted that it was a gift from her boyfriend.
The witness added: “After the sale of the Laptop, we saw her face on social media, regarding a murder case connected to her. The name was very familiar to the customer we had business with earlier, so I ensured that all her documents were kept handy.
“Few days later, the Police from State Criminal Investigation Department SCID Panti, invited my Manager, Olutayo Abayomi, a call was made to me by someone else in the office, that he has been invited to the police station so I proceeded to the station to find out why.
“When I got to the Police Station, I discovered that it was in connection to the Laptop, we bought from Chidinma on June 18, 2021, we both made a statement detailing how we came about the Laptop and how we made the purchase.
“We gave the police the documents of the former owner, which included a copy of her voters’s car, a copy of our form, all receipts which already has her information, regarding the Laptop,” the witness said.
Asked if he can detect that a product is a stolen item, he said no.
“There is no way we can detect that a phone or Laptop is a stolen one.
During cross-examination by the first defendant’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu, asked if he was shown any documents, receipts or proof of ownership to show that the Laptop was not for the first defendant, at Panti, he said no.
However Justice Adesanya, adjourned the case to November, 29, for continuation of trial.
The three defendants were arraigned on October, 12 on a nine-count charge preferred against them by Lagos State Government.
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.
The alleged murder took place at No. 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
Chidinma and Quadri were also accused of committing forgery by procuring and making bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.
The two defendants are facing an eight count charge before bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing preferred against them by the Lagos State Government.
While the first defendant’s sister Chioma Egbuchu, is facing the nineth count charge of stealing iPhone 7, belonging to late Ataga.
They pleaded not guilty.
The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution DPP, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, told the count that the defendants conspired amongst themselves and allegedly murdered the deceased on June 15, 2021.
She said that the incident took place at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
The DPP said that Ojukwu and the second defendant, allegedly killed the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, by stabbing him severally with a knife on his neck and chest.
Adeyemi said that the duo also allegedly conspired to commit forgery, by procuring and making Access and UBA Bank, account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.
The duo were also alleged to have forged First United Bank account statement of one Mary, from June 1, 2021.
The Prosecutor further accused Ojukwu and Quadri, of allegedly forging an international passport and a driver’s license In Chidinma’s name.
In count eight, Chidinma was accused of stealing two iPhones, an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 11, one Apple MacBook Laptop and ATM cards of Access and GT Banks belonging to the late Usifo Ataga from which the sum of N380,000 was subsequently withdrawn.