Ataga: Chidinma lied that her passport was with Immigration, says witness
A prosecution witness and owner of the rented apartment, where the late Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Michael Usifo Ataga, was allegedly murdered, Nkechi Mogbo, yesterday told a Lagos High Court that she never met the defendant nor the victim before the incident.
Mogbo disclosed this while being cross-examined before Justice Yetunde Adesanya by the first defendant’s counsel, Mr. Onwuka Egwu.
Ojukwu is standing trial alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri for the alleged murder of Ataga.
The witness maintained that the first defendant had informed her while booking for the apartment that she was lodging with a friend.
Mogbo had in her evidence-in-chief told the court that she operates a fully furnished self-service apartment, like a normal house with a cable TV subscription, a 24-hour power supply and a well-equipped kitchen.
The witness also narrated to the court how the defendant booked and lodged in the apartment with a friend, including how the body of the victim was discovered at the apartment.
She told the court that she could not collect the defendant’s International Passport for identification before lodging her because the defendant told her that her passport was with the immigration for the purposes of COVID isolation.
The witness said she did not ask for a vaccination certificate because it was not in her capacity to request it.
She said, “I was not privileged to know if she was a Nigerian due to the name (Jewel) and the foreign phone number she used while looking for the apartment.”
Mogbo further told the court that when the payment for the apartment was made from another name, she did not raise an eyebrow, because payment could be made by a friend or family member. She noted that the defendant herself sent the receipt of the payment through WhatsApp message after payment was made.
After listening to the cross-examination, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Adeyinka Adeyemi informed the court that she had no re-examination.
Justice Adesanya subsequently adjourned the further hearing of the case till today, November 16. Lagos State Government had on October 12 arraigned the defendants on a nine-count charge of the alleged murder of
Ataga on June 15 at No. 19, Adewale Oshin St., Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.