The trial of a 300 level Mass Communication under graduate, of the University of Lagos Chidinma Ojukwu, for the alleged murder of Usifo Ataga, Chief Executive Officer of Super Tv, was today stalled due to the absence of a prosecution witness, one DSP Olusegun Bamidele.
The defendant is standing trial before a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square.
She is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.
At the today’s hearing, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP), Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, told the court that the matter was for continuation of trial.
She, however, said that the witness, DSP Bamidele, the ninth prosecution witness, who had not finished his evidence was absent in court.
According to the DDPP, the witness sent a text message, informing her that he was under the rain all morning, drenched and was unable to find transportation to the court.
She apologised for the witness’ absence.
Counsel for the defendants, Mr Onwuka Egwu, Mr Babatunde Busari and Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey, said that the prosecution counsel had earlier informed them of the development.
They did not object for the matter to be adjourned.
However, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, adjourned further hearing in the trial till October, 27.
At the last adjourned date on October, 20, the matter did not go as the first defendant’s counsel sent a message that he lost a relative and was already at Anambra state as at the time the case was called.
The third defendant Quadri was also not produced in court.
He called his lawyer Babatunde Busari to inform him that there was a directive from the Correctional Facility that should not be brought to court over security reasons, due the 2nd year anniversary of ‘#ENDsars’.
On the last proceeding on October, 18, the recorded video footage of the confessional statement of Ojukwu was played in court.
In the video footage, the first defendant denied killing Ataga.
Ojukwu in the video said she did not know who killed the deceased.
She said she went out, by the time she got back, she saw Ataga on the floor and quickly picked her things and left because she was scared.
On October, 11, proceedings, when the video recording was first played, it showed the lifeless body of Ataga and later Ojukwu’s confession, where she said in the video that she killed the deceased on her own.
At October 12, the matter also didn’t go on as the trial Judge lost a relative and didn’t sit.
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.