By Princely Onyenwe, Imo
The Lagos State Government has arraigned Chidinma Ojukwu and two others over the alleged murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga.
The charge dated August 31, was filed by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi.
Ojukwu and Quadri pleaded not guilty to eight counts bordering on the offences of murder, forgery and stealing.
Ojukwu, 21, and Adedapo – first and second defendants – were named in counts one to seven.
Ojukwu was the sole defendant on count eight, while Chioma was named in count nine.
Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, who is alleged to be the murderer of the Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga, has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Chidinma – a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos – and one Quadri Adedapo were arraigned before Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island.
They were docked on a nine-count charge alongside Ojukwu’s sister, Egbuchu Chioma from whom the late Ataga’s iPhone 7, was said to have been recovered.
The 22-year-old pleaded not guilty to the crime on Tuesday alongside one Adedapo Quadri as they are the key suspects in the murder case.
They both pleaded not guilty to the eight counts bordering on the offences of murder, forgery and stealing.
In count one, Chidinma and Adedapo were charged with conspiring to murder Ataga contrary to Section 233 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos 2015.
In count two, Chidinma and Adedapo were charged with Ataga’s murder, an offence said to have been committed by stabbing him several times in the neck and chest with a knife.
In counts 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7, Chidinma and Adedapo were charged with conspiracy to commit forgery, forgery and making documents without authority.
They were specifically alleged to have procured false bank account statements of Ataga.
They also allegedly forged an international passport and a driver’s license In Chidinma’s name.
In count eight, Chidinma was charged alone with stealing two iPhones – an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 11 – one Apple MacBook Laptop and ATM cards belonging to the late Usifo Ataga from which the sum of N380,000 was subsequently withdrawn.
In count nine, Chidinma’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu was charged with being in possession of the stolen property, the iPhone 7 belonging to the late Usifo Ataga.
According to the prosecution, the offences contravened Sections 411, 233, 365 (2)b, 280, 329, of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
However, Ojukwu, Adedapo and Chioma pleaded not guilty.
There was a mild mix-up when the court registrar read count one of ‘conspiracy to murder’ to the defendants.
After Ojukwu pleaded not guilty, the registrar turned to Adedapo.
Registrar: “Are you guilty or not guilty?”
It was dramatic in the courtroom when Adedapo said “Guilty!”
A few seconds later when he realized his error, the second defendant subsequently changed his plea to “Not guilty.”
Mr O. Egwu appeared for Ojukwu, Mr Babatunde Busari, announced appearance for Adedapo, while Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Dr Babajide Martins appeared for Chioma.
Justice Adesanya remanded Ojukwu and Quadri in prison custody.
Following an unopposed application by Martins, the judge allowed Chioma to continue on the bail granted her at the Magistrate Court.
She adjourned till November, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17, 25, 29 and 30 for trial.
Recall that Chidinma Ojukwu, 21, was alleged to have murdered Ataga, in a Service apartment in the Lekki area of Lagos State. Though the dead is gone, but Nigerians are eager to witness Justice in this murder case.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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