Barristers & Solicitors
Prosecution Displays Video of Ataga’s Lifeless Body in Court

The prosecution yesterday displayed before a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, video clips of lifeless body of the Chief Executive Officer of Super Tv, Usifo Ataga, allegedly killed by an undergraduate Chidinma Ojukwu.

In the video, Ataga was seen lying on the ground facing up with his hands spread opened wearing a white singlet and a boxers stained with blood, his head was close to the wall of the service apartment and blood was on the floor at his right hand side. There was also blood seen on the floor as if he was dragged. There was blood stains on the pillow and duvet cover.

In the same Compact Disc video recording of Chidinma’s statement was simultaneously displayed, where she narrated how she murdered Ataga.

In the video Chidinma stated that she met Ataga through a friend and they started speaking to each other and then on June 13, 2021, the deceased called her and asked her to get a place for them to stay so she got the short let service apartment where the deceased died.

She said: “After I got the place on Sunday we were smoking loud, drinking, watching movies then I went to get food, the drug we were taking got finished and I ordered another one and went down stairs to get it from the delivery guy in the morning, that was on June 14, 2021.

“Then on Tuesday, we drank, smoke loud and I added Rophynol to his drink we had sex and I was on the bed and he was on the chair, then later he started disturbing me for more sex, I was tired and after struggling with him, he had his way and still wanted more.

“He wanted it, he was no longer himself, and I thought he was no more interested in sex, only for him to return to the bed to ask for more sex. I pushed him away, which resulted in him hitting his head against a stool that had a glass, he had a cut on his leg and he became weak.

“I got a knife and stabbed him in the neck, ribs and stomach, so that he won’t be able to harm me, I tied his hands with handkerchief.

“His blood was out and I was scared, I just packed everything, my clothes was also stained with blood, I just packed my things and just left.

“I took the knife and handkerchief and when I got home, I threw the knife and handkerchief away.

“Michael was a friend, that we just talk, I don’t know him that deep and we don’t talk regularly.

When she was asked in the video if she was assisted in killing the deceased as she couldn’t have done it alone because of his physic, she said: “There was nobody that assisted me, I did it alone.”

Asked why she didn’t call for help, she said: “ Obviously I was scared that was why I left.

Asked what was the motive behind her killing Ataga, she said :”There was no motive behind it.”

The ninth prosecution witness DSP Olusegun Bamidele from the Intelligence and Tactical Unit of the State Criminal Investigating Department (SCID) Panti Yaba, while interrogating her in the video, at Panti, also asked her why she was using a foreign number and the motive behind her hiding  her number, she responded by saying that she already has a foreign number registered on social media that she uses to chat with people.

Asked why the owner of the service apartment didn’t know her identity, she said: “ She didn’t ask for my identification it was test that I got, if she had said that the place was not available I would have  left for another place.”

Ojukwu why responding to a question in the video of why she used Mary Johnson to open a bank account, she said that she was trying to open an account number which got blocked that was why she used Mary Johnson.

On the Identification card that she procured, she said: “It was someone that did it and you can’t see his face, I don’t know the contact of the person. I was just surfing  through the internet and I saw contact to call.

However, the prosecuting counsel Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, reminded the witness of his evidence on May 10, when he said he recovered some items from then defendant’s house.

Bamidele responded by itemising the things he recovered from Ojukwu’s house.

He told Justice Yetunde Adesanya that he recovered a small pink purse and inside the purse contained two syringes, eight pieces of Rophynol tablets, two sanitary pads, small perfume, jewelry, Iphone belonging to first defendant note book, a diary and an HP laptop.

Other items, were the defendant’s ID card with her name Ojukwu Chidinma Adora, Ataga’s driving licence, Ojukwu’s UBA ATM card, Super net ID card with Ataga’s name, then three other cards that had the deceased’s name tagged product service then six blank complimentary cards.

After identifying the items, Oluwafemi prayed the court to admit the items in evidence.

But the first defendant’s lawyer C.C. Ezebube while objecting to the admisibility of the items, said that the custody of the items were not specified before the court, from the moment of recovery to tendering it before the court.

He said: “Some of the items could have been picke from anywhere, there is no originality as this items can be reproduced from anywhere. Then the issue of relevance of some of these items tendered before the court were not stated and the content the isuuue of the sanitary pad and earrings, was not relevant.”

The second defendant’s counsel Babatunde Busari, and the  third  defendant’s counsel F.O. Ilesunmidid did not object to the tendering of the items.

In a short ruling, Justice Adesanya, dismissed the objection and admitted the items in evidence.

Earlier, the witness showed the court the pictures of the apartment. The three defendants were arraigned on October, 12, 2021, on a nine-count charge 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 – stealing of iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.

Ojukwu and Quadri are 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 alleged murder took place at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

The case has been adjourned till October 12, for continuation of trial.