By Aishat Momoh. O.
On Thursday, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Olusegun Bamidele testified before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, at a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, that the evidence of Statement of Chidinma and her accomplice Adedapo Quadri, including the recovery of stolen items in her possession proved that she indeed killed Micheal Usifo Ataga.
Bamidele, who has been serving at the State Criminal Investigation Department’s (SCID) Panti Yaba’s Homicide Unit, for 10 years revealed this while he was examined by the Chief State’s counsel, Y.A sule during the continuation of trial.
He also added that during investigation while he was talking to his witness identified as Abubakar, that it was established that the first defendant called him with her real number, which was taken to the tracking team lead by SP Kasumu, who called the Technical Intelligence Unit in Abuja.
This trackers were able according to the witness, to get the call log of the first defendant and the deceased.
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.
Bamidele claimed during cross-examination that he discovered through the call log that there has been communication between the first and second defendant from 14th to 21 June, 2021.
DSP Bamidele described to the court that efforts were made to ascertain what their discussion was about. “During this time, we sent a letter of investigation to the Nigerià Communication Commission to avail us the voice call between the two defendants.
Their numbers was provided but we didn’t succeed until they were charged to court”, he said.
He continued: “In totality of the evidence of the defendants, including the recovery of stolen items from possession of the first st defendant proved that she indeed killed late Micheal Usifo Ataga and she was charged to court alongside the second and third defendant.
The file was forwarded to the office of Deputy Public Prosecution for purpose of vetting and to issue legal advise”.
Earlier, Chidinma’s counsel, Mr. Onwuka Egwu, had objected to the tendering of the documents by the Prosecution (the call logs of deceased and Ojukwu) on the ground that the documents was not laid on proper foundation.
“This document was not made by the witness. He said that a tracking unit was lead by an officer, the whereabout of the team leader who showed him this documents and why he is not here to tender this documents since he is the maker.
The documents are not documents in their primary nature, the call log itself is not a police document because they are not service providers and indication of the service provider is also not there.
This goes beyond the issue of relevance. One would have expected the documents to appear in its primary or secondary form for admissibility as a secondary document before we begin to talk about the permission of the service provider.”
The second defense counsel, Babatunde Busari, objected to Ojukwu’s call log on the grounds that it is not a primary document.
“It is a secondary document and no proper foundation has been laid. Secondly, we are objecting on the ground of Section 83 subsection 4 of the evidence Act, Section 37&38 of the evidence Act and to pit it very simple by the evidence of the witness, this document amount to hear say.
On this reason, we shall be urging the court to reject this documents on the ground stated.” he concluded.
In her ruling, Justice Adesanya, admitted the call log of Chidinma as exhibits P37 and Ataga as exhibits P38.
She however, dismissed and overruled the objections of the counsels.