By Aishat Momoh. O.
Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect in the alleged murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Micheal Ataga has said that she was assaulted by one of the Police officers while her statement was been taken adding that one of her statements was written by Mr. Bamidele, a police officer while the other one was dictated to her by a female officer while she wrote down in the statement form and signed on it afterwards.
This is coming as a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island today resumed the trial-within-trial which was ordered by the court to determine if the statements that was signed by Chidinma was obtained under duress.
However, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions,Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, objected and said she was giving evidence in the case instead of evidence on how her statement was taken.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya, however, asked Ojukwu’s counsel to guide her.
Ojukwu further stated that when she was arrested, she instructed her father to call their family lawyer, Mr Onwuka Egwu. She said, “They handcuffed me in the sitting room and took me to their vehicle.”
After then, we came back to the DCP’S office. Then, the DCP started questioning me. I told him that I know nothing about the death of Mr. Ataga. That was when they made the recording of the video that was played in court.
After then, the DCP said I should be taken for interrogation. Then, Mr. Dele, took me into the interrogating room with Mr. Chris.
She narrated how the police officer slapped her twice and hit her head against a wooden table while telling her that they were not joking adding that Bamidele asked her to rehearse the statement and narrate it to the Commissioner of Police (CP).
“The IPO gave me a plain statement form. And then, I started writing” She added.
That was when I started writing the statement. When he took the statement from me, he said this is not what happened but I told him sir, this is what happened that I’m writing.I received two slaps on the back. I think the slaps was from Officer Jenyo. Because the only person facing me was Mr. Dele.” She added
He said, “listen to me, you are going to write the truth. He tore the statement that I had written and presented another blank statement form.
“He said, “now you are going to write and then, I started writing. At the introduction of the statement, he said why am I been slow.
I received another slap on the back and I told him that I’m not feeling well and I need to rest. He told me that there was no time for that.
Then, he took the statement from me then he started writing. The IPO Mr. Chris handcuffed my both hands to the chair.
At the beginning of his writing, he was asking me questions but then, he stopped asking but he was writing. After he was done writing, he read the statement to me.
She continued, “He said, this Is what I’m going to say or else, my family will be charged. Then, he read the statement over and over again telling me to rehearse and that, I will be taken to the commissioner of police and when and when I’m asked that is what I should say.
“I came back in the morning the next day with Mr. Chris, then he said, sign the statement and I was been reluctant on signing.
After I signed the statement, they brought me out if the interrogating room then, they gave me water to wash my face. We entered into the vehicle and drive to Ikeja.
She also gave an account of what transpired in the CP’s office when she got there. She said, “When got to Ikeja, the rest came out of the vehicle, I was left with Bamidele. He asked, can I read the statement for you? He did and then, told me to narrate it. After the narration, he said that is what I will say to the CP. So he took me to the doorstep of the CP and I went in”
“When the CP asked me what happened, I said the same thing Mr. Dele said in the statement.
After then, I was taken to the press and later taken back to the police station at Panti. Then, Dele said, I need to do a video recording of what you have been saying. Everything that he has written in the statement. Then, they recorded the video there in court then I was taken to the cell.
At evening, Mr. Oseni brought me out of the cell and took me to an office where officer Funke and another female officer was.
Then, they told me to sit there first. Mr. Oseni left and they brought a blank statement form. Officer Funke and Officer Bola told me to write. Then officer Jenyo walked in
Officer Funke said I was here to write a statement and I said, I had already written a statement and that I was tired, I haven’t eaten. She said when I was done writing. I just sat there and looked.
Then, officer Jenyo came beside me, took my head and hit it on the wooden table.
He said, “we are not here to play and then picked up a pen. Officer Funke said I should start writing. I wrote the date, my name. She brought out a paper that had writings on it and she was dictating.
During cross examination by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Oluwafemi, the former 300-level undergraduate admitted that she signed the two statement which one of it was confessional in nature, while the other was dictated
She also told the DPP that she didn’t report any of the assault as there was nobody to report it to.
After her testimony in the trial within trial, the judge gave the prosecution and the defense 14 days each to file their written addresses in the trial within trial.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case till 11th of January, 2023 for Adoption of written address.