JUST IN: Ataga Murder: Chidinma left a night before victim’s corpse was found — Security man


The security guard at the service apartment where Usifo Ataga, Super TV CEO, was allegedly murdered, on Wednesday, maintained his earlier testimony that the defendant (Chidinma Ojukwu) had left a night before victim’s body was found.

The security guard, Abubakar Mohammed, stated this while being cross examined before a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

The witness had, on Tuesday, given evidence as the second prosecution’s witness, in the ongoing trial of Chidinma Ojukwua a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, UNILAG(first defendant), and two others over Ataga’s murder.

Ojukwu is standing trial alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the witness was cross-examined by the first and second defendants’ counsel.

During his cross-examination by the first defendant counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu, the witness maintained that the defendant (Chidinma) had left the the apartment on Tuesday night and did not return to the premises even after the body was found.

Mohammed said that when the defendant was leaving, he was at his duty post. and the defendant waived at him and entered an Uber ride.

The witness also denied that he mentioned to the police that he suspected one Mr Babalola Disu, who also logged at the apartment at the time the incident happened.

Mohammed also told the court that he did not get the full view of the victim (Ataga) when he came into the premises because the victim was inside his vehicle.

He also said the victim did not come out of his apartment from the time he entered.

The witness said it was only the defendant who used to come out or call him on phone when she needed any help.

Mohammed was also cross-examined by the second defendant’s counsel, Mr Babatunde Busari.

Busari asked the witness to confirm if a dispatch rider actually came to the house and how many times the dispatch rider came.

The witness maintained that a dispatch rider came once to the house, adding that the dispatch rider gave the first defendant a small parcel which he did not know the content.

The witness was, however, re-examined by the prosecution counsel, Mr Yusuf Sule.

The witness maintained that the defendant was the person who came and logged at the apartment.

Mohammed said he was able to identify the defendant at the police station during investigation “because she wears her face mask without covering her nose.

“I was also able to identify her when she removed her face mask.

“The police also asked her (defendant) if she knows me and my name, the defendant answered yes and mentioned my name, Abu,” he said.

He narrated to the court how the defendant and her friend (the victim) logged at the apartment where he worked as security man, on Sunday, June 13.

He also said that the defendant left the premises on Tuesday night (June 15) and did not return.

The witness  narrated how he found the corpse of the victim on Wednesday morning.

However, due to time, the Judge, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, adjourned the case until November, 25 for continuation of trial.

The charges

The three defendants were arraigned on October, 12 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 of stealing a phone belonging to the late Ataga.

The first and second defendants were alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 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.

Chidinma and Quadri were also accused of committing forgery by procuring and making bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.


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