Judiciary News

Ataga: Chidinma Trial Stalls Over Prosecutions Failure To Reply Address

The scheduled trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged killer of the Chief Executive Officer, Super TV, Usifo Ataga, before a Lagos State High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, couldn’t go on Wednesday as the prosecution was yet to reply to the written address of the defence.

The court had on November 17, 2022, fixed January 11, 2023, for the adoption of written addresses of the prosecution and the defence in the trial within trial to ascertain if the defendant made statements at the police station voluntarily.

On the last adjourned date the defendant had told Justice Yetunde Adesanya, that she was slapped and forced to sign statements written by policemen in the state.

Chidinma, who testified in her trial-within-trial as defence witness one, stated that policemen including Assistant Superintendent of Police, Olusegun Bamidele, and Olufunke Madeyinlo, told her to sign statements against her will.

She said Bamidele told her to narrate the statement he wrote to the state Commissioner of Police after tearing the statement she wrote.

Chidinma is standing trial over the alleged murder of Ataga. She is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri.

At the resumed hearing of the case which was slated for the adoption of written addresses of the trial within a trial, the case could not go on as the Lagos state prosecuting counsel T. E. Onilade, informed the court that they just received service of the address from the defendant last week.

Onilade said,” The first defendant’s address was served on us during the festive period. The address which was dated December 23, 2022, was served on the Attorney General’s office on December 30, and we only received service last week, but we have not replied.”

Chidinma’s lawyer O . Okemezie confirmed that the address was dated December 23, 2022, as well as a Motion on Notice in support of the written address and a seven-paragraph affidavit.

However, Justice Adesanya adjourned the case to February 13, for the adoption of written addresses.

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 in the neck and chest.

The alleged murder took place at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

The duo was also accused of committing forgery by procuring and making bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.

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