Usifo Ataga’s Murder: I Never Met Chidinma Nor Victim Before – Witness

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This combination photo shows Chidinma, court gavel, and Usifo Ataga

 

The trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, accused of murdering Super TV’s Chief Executive officer, Usifo Ataga, continued on Monday at the Lagos State High Court.

At the resumption of the case, Mrs Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the rented apartment where Ataga was found dead, continued her testimony.

While being cross-examined by the first defendant’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu as the first prosecution witness, Mrs Mogbo maintained that she never met the defendant nor the victim before the incident.

According to the witness, the first defendant (Chidinma) had informed her while booking for the apartment that she was lodging with a friend.

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Mrs Mogbo said she could not collect the defendant’s international passport for identification before giving her the apartment because Chidinma said her passport was with the immigration for the purposes of COVID-19 isolation.

The witness said she did not ask for vaccination certificates because she didn’t think it was in her capacity to request for them.

Mrs Mogbo claimed she was not privileged to know if Chidinma was a Nigerian due to the name (Jewel) and the foreign phone number she used while booking the apartment.

The witness also said that when the payment for the apartment was made from another name, she did not raise an eyebrow because payments could be made by a friend or family member.

“I was only running a business just like any other hard-working Nigerian,” the witness stressed.

She also stated that the guest at the apartment adjacent to where the incident occurred, had indicated a week earlier of his intention to leave the premises on June 17, thereby denying being the one who informed the guest to leave the premises after the incident occurred.

The witness further stated that it was when the police asked her to give information about the building that she mentioned about the other guests at the apartment.

She confirmed that it was at the deputy commissioner of police’s office that she identified the defendant through a picture on her phone.

Mogbo also said it was the true caller app on her phone that brought out the name (Chidinma Onah) which the defendant used in registering the private number with which she (Mogbo) was called earlier.

The witness went on to explain that the defendant did not inform her that she would vacate the premises for her friend when she asked for two more additional days.

Adding that when the body was found, her security guard called Chidinma and the defendant only said that she went for a meeting and will be back.

After the cross-examination, the prosecutor, Mrs Adeyinka Adeyemi, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the court that she had no re-examination.

Upon this submission, Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case until November 16 for further hearing.

Prior to Monday’s proceedings, three defendants had been arraigned on a nine-count charge preferred against them by the Lagos State government for the alleged murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Michael Usifo Ataga.

The first two defendants, Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri are facing the first eight charges bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements, and stealing.

The third defendant, who is the first defendant’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count charge of stealing an iPhone 7, belonging to the late Ataga.


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