By Aishat Momoh. O.
The recorded confessional video of Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged suspected murderer of the late Usifo Ataga, Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, was viewed by a Lagos High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square on Tuesday. In it, she denied killing the deceased.
In the video that was played before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, Ojukwu claimed that she was frightened and left the scene right away after seeing Ataga on the ground. She claimed that she didn’t know who killed the victim.
She said, “I don’t know who entered. I just picked my things and left because I was scared”.
When the video recording footage of Ataga’s dead body and Ojukwu’s confession were first shown at the last court sitting on October 11, 2022, she claimed that she killed the victim on her own.
In the video, she said, “There was nobody that assisted me, I did it alone.”
Chidinma, a 300-level undergraduate of the University of Lagos, was arraigned alongside two others, Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu on 12th October, 2021, on a nine-count charge over the alleged murder of Mr Ataga.
She and Adedapo Quadri, are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements, and stealing.
They were alleged to have conspired and murdered Mr Ataga on 15th June 2021, by stabbing him several times with a knife in the neck and chest.
The incident took place at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
The third defendant, Ms Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count of receiving a stolen iPhone 7 belonging to the deceased.
Ms Ojukwu, while being interrogated in the video, was asked why she denied knowing the deceased.
“I did not say that I didn’t know him, I said I did not kill him, I can not kill somebody,” she responded.
When one member of the team that interrogated her in the video asked why she said the blood stains on her clothes were her menstrual period, she kept saying she cannot kill somebody.
“I don’t know who came in after I left the room when I came back I saw him bleeding I had to leave because I was scared, I did not kill him, I don’t know who killed him,” she said.
When asked why she ordered Loud smoke and Rophynol, the defendant answered that it was the deceased that ordered it and that she didn’t know where he ordered it from as she just went to pick it up.
The defendant was also asked why she picked the deceased’s two iPhones and a Mac laptop and she said she just picked them because they were among her things and left because she was scared.
The ninth prosecution witness, Olusegun Bamidele, from the Intelligence and Tactical Unit of the State Criminal Investigating Department, Yaba, continued with the narration after the video stopped playing, of how the handwritten statement of Ms Ojukwu was taken and how the second and third defendants were arrested.
“She started writing by herself, but because her handwriting wasn’t legible, I told her that she should ensure that her writing is legible or write in capital letters,” said Mr Bamidele, a Deputy Superintendent of Police.
“It was at that point that she said I should write for her and she confessed to killing the deceased.
She also mentioned how she had killed Michael Usifo Ataga and went away with the knife, phones, and Mac book laptop. We took the first defendant to the Computer Village with her laptop and we located the phone hub.”
He added that Chidinma confessed to selling the MacBook.
He also said that she confessed that one “DG” assisted her in getting an ID card, driver’s license, Access Bank ATM, among others but that she doesn’t know his full name, but only spoke with him on phone.
“In the course of the investigation we studied her call logs very well we noticed that there was a frequent call log with a particular number between June 15, 17, 18 and 21, the tracker led to the arrest of the 2nd defendant,” the police officer said.
The team traced the second defendant to Surulere before he was arrested, the second defendant threw away his phone through the window and also attempted to jump through the window but he was held by the waist.
” Four other phones were recovered from him, two small-size itel phones and two Tecno phones.”
The police officer said that second defendant told him that he met Ms Ojukwu through her ex-lover “and that he is capable of getting an international passport, driver’s license, and bank statement.
He also confessed to having gotten the Loud smoke and Rohypnol based on Ms Ojukwu’s request.
“He said he remembered sending it to the first defendant while she was at Lekki, through a dispatch rider, he told me that he supplied her two or three times in Lekki, with Loud smoke and Rohypnol,” the witness said.
The witness further said that the third defendant, Chidinma’s sister, was arrested through the help of the foster father of Chidinma Ojukwu, their uncle, Mr Obi, and their mother.
He said the third defendant narrated that the iPhone was gifted to her by Chidinma and she had questioned the source of the phone and she said it was one of her boyfriends that gave her.
Justice Adesanya further adjourned the till 20th of October for the continuation of trial.