Ataga’s murder: Chidinma to testify in trial within trial Nov 17
Justice Yetunde Adesanya has fixed November 17, 2022 for Chidinma Ojukwu the suspect in murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, to testify in trial within trial to ascertain whether she was coerced or induced to make a statement that she killed Ataga.
The trial judge fixed the date yesterday, after the testimony of the second prosecution witness.
Ojukwu, a supposed 300-level Mass Communication undergraduate of the University of Lagos, is standing trial over the alleged murder of Ataga, alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and Adedapo Quadri.
When the case was called yesterday, the Deputy Director of Prosecution, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi led Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Olufunke Madeyinlo in evidence, who told the court that she was part of the team that arrested and interrogated the first defendant, (Ojukwu).
The police officer said she has been in the police Force for 33 years.
She noted that on June 24, 2021, the Officer in Charge of the homicide section, Panti, Yaba, Razak Oseni brought the first defendant to her office to write her statement.
She said she gave the first defendant a statement form and a pen, thereafter, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Adegoke Bayoade sent for Oseni and he left the first defendant in her (Madeyinlo) office.
The witness said that after about 40 minutes, OC Oseni came back to her office to collect the statement Ojukwu had written.
She said: “Oseni collected the statement and went away with the first defendant, nothing happened and nobody forced her to write the statement, she wrote the statement herself”.
When the witness was cross-examined by Ojukwu’s counsel, Onwuka Egwu, the witness told the court that she shares her office with three other officers, namely: ASP Gbolahan Jemiyo, ASP Gbola Alabi, and Inspector Kolawole Lukman.
When she asked if it was after Jemiyo had assaulted the first defendant that her statement was taken, the witness said it was only herself and Alabi that were present when the defendant made her statement.
The lawyer also asked if the witness interacted with Ojukwu while she was writing down her statement, Madeyinlo answered in the affirmative.
“She said she wanted to eat and that I should get her something to eat and we sent for food and gave it to her. I did not ask her any questions, she
wrote her statement herself.
“The only question I asked her was, ‘are you ok with the statement you wrote? She said yes, then I asked her to sign it,” the witness said.
Egwu further asked the witness if she gave a 10-year old girl wrapper to cover herself, for the night between June 23 and 24, 2021, she answered that she could not remember as it had been long.
When confronted with the fact that the foster father of the first defendant (Onoh Ojukwu) was also in custody within the same period, the police officer replied that, “I saw a man, Ojukwu, moving freely. Somebody that is in custody cannot be moving like that.”
Asked if she knew what happened to the statement the first defendant made on June 24, she answered that she doesn’t know.
After listening to the witness’s testimony, the judge subsequently adjourned to November 17, for the first defendant to testify in the trial within trial to ascertain the voluntariness of her statements.