A Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, has told a Lagos State High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, that Chidinma Ojukwu that alleged murder suspect of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga was having sexual relationship with her Foster father Onoh Ojukwu.
Bamidele who is serving with the homicide department of the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, disclosed this while being cross examined by Chidinma’s counsel Onwuka Egwu, during trial within trial.
Ojukwu a 300 level Mass Communication under graduate, of the University of Lagos Chidinma Ojukwu, is standing trial over the alleged murder of Ataga.
She is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside one Adedapo Quadri and her sister, Chioma Egbuchu.
On the last adjourned date the witness who is the ninth prosecution witness, had told the court how Chidinma transferred the sum of N5m, on June 15, 2021 from Usifo Ataga’s account to another account.
The witness had told Justice Yetunde Adesanya how the hand written statement of the first defendant was taken and how the second and third defendants were arrested.
Bamidele said that after the arrest of the first defendant, on June 23, 2021, her written statement was recorded on June 24.
He said ” She started writing by herself, but because her hand writing wasn’t eligible I told her that she should ensure that her writing is legible or write in capital letters.
“It was at that point that she said I should write for her and she confessed to killing the deceased.
“She also mentioned how she had killed Michael Usifo Ataga and went away with the knife, phones and Mac book laptop. We took the first defendant to the computer village with her laptop and we located the phone hub.”
When the prosecution sought to admit the written statements of the defendants, in evidence Chidinma’s counsel Egwu, objected to the admissibility of the document.
He said that she didn’t make the statements voluntarily that the statements were obtained under duress, inducement intimidation and under duress and urged the court to test the veracity of the voluntariness of the statements.
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However the prosecutor prayed to the court to conduct a trial within a trial for Chidinma.
Consequently Justice Adesanya adjourned the case to November 8, for trial within trial
At the resumed hearing of the matter, the Lagos State prosecuting counsel, Tella Onilaja, announced her appearance while Egeu also announced his appearance for the first defendant.
The second defendant’s counsel Babatunde Busari, the third defendant’s counsel Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey also announced their appearance.
Bamidele who was led in evidence in the trial within the trial narrated how Chidinma was arrested and how she was interrogated.
He also told the court that the first time the first defendant was arrested he wasn’t there.
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When asked during cross examination by the first defendant’s lawyer to confirm that it was four people that were arrested when his team visited 25 Akinwumi Street Alagomeji Yaba, he said no that they were three.
He said “That night on June 23, 2021, the first team that visited came back with three people. The first defendant Chidinma Ojukwu, her foster father Onoh Ojukwu and an under aged girl. That was the people I saw.
” I was in the second team that visited the address that night”.
Asked the day the first defendant was paraded, he said on June 24, at the State Command Ikeja.
Asked if he was aware that prior to the parade the first defendant and her foster father had an interaction with the Commissioner of Police’s office, he said he was not aware, as he didn’t go upstairs.
When asked to confirm that Mr Ojukwu was re arrested on July 25 and kept in detention till August 19, 2021, he said yes that he was rearrested.
Asked what Mr Ojukwu and the 10 year old were doing in the Police custody, the witness answered that Ojukwu said he was embarrassed by what the first defendant did and offered to assist in investigation.
He said ” Mr Ojukwu was not kept in the Cell, he was kept in a protective room and he received and escorted visitors at will.
“In the course of him staying with us, we stumbled on an intelligence that there was an amorous (sexual) relationship between the first defendant and her foster father. And that gave the impetus that Mr Ojukwu was not sincere that he was aware of the offence that the first defendant is standing trial today.
“That she was concealing the real information. We also established that the mother of the first defendant never approved the custody of the first defendant to Ojukwu and it was on this basis that we charged him to court alongside the three defendants at the Magistrate Court so that the court could decide if he could get bail, including one Babalola.”
However the case was adjourned till November, 10, for continuation of trial within trial.
Ojukwu was arraigned alongside two others Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu on October, 12, 2021, on a nine-count charge over alleged murder of Ataga preferred against them by Lagos State Government.
Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
The third defendant, Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count of receiving a stolen iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.
Ojukwu and Quadri were alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him several times with a knife on the neck and chest.
The incident took place at No. 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.