Facts have emerged on how a defendant, Chidinma Ojukwu standing trial for the killing of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga transfered N5million from the deceased’s account.
In continuation of evidence by the investigating officer DSP Olusegun Bamidele, before Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos State High Court on Thursday, he narrated how Chidinma transferred the money on June 15, 2021 from Usifo Ataga’s account to another account (it was on Tuesday, the day she said she stabbed Ataga for demanding for more sex in her video confessional statement).
Leading the ninth prosecution witness, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, DDPP, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi requested for exhibit P11, which is the (Access) bank statement of Ataga and she asked the witness to tell the court why he had the bank statements of the deceased.
According to Bamidele, during the course of investigation and in a bid to know what could have motivated the first defendant to kill the deceased and since they recorded Ataga’s bank, they wrote Access Bank asking for the bank statement of the deceased and a copy was availed them.
He explained that a close look at the copies of the bank statements coupled with the fact that the phones of the deceased was already in the possession of the first defendant and has been in control of the account she purchased airtime.
Narrating his findings to the court, Bamidele said that on June 15, the first defendant used the deceased’s phone to transfer N5m from his account to another bank.
“On June 16, 2021, four transactions of N20,000 was made from the deceased’s account, on June 17, another withdrawal of N20,000 was made five times and the remarks was transfer between customers.
“On the same June 16, N50,000 was transferred to Nkechi Mogbo, another N11,200 of fund was also transferred to Caprical Capital, on the same June 16, another N50,000 was transferred from Ataga’s account to Mogbo and another N93,000 transferred from Ataga’s Gtb bank to his Access bank account.
“A transfer of N110,000.75k was debited from the deceased’s account on June 18, 2021.
“On June 19, 2021, a transfer of N20,000 was made four times on that same day, another transfer of N20,000 was made five times and it was through the USSD code,” Bamidele said.
He also explained to the court how they wrote Gtb Bank to get Ataga’s statement of account.
He added that on June 13, 2021, there was an internet transfer of N10,000 to Chidinma, another N105,000 was also transferred to Chidinma on same June 13, for the payment of the short service let paid to Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the apartment.
“On that same June 13, there was a N13,000 purchase transaction at Ango Villa, N14,200, transaction for purchase at Dwine Bar global, on the same June 13, there was a transfer of N20,399.
“On June 14, 2021, there was N21,000 transfer from Ataga’s account to Chidinma’s account and another transfer of N15,000 paid to Chidinma, there was a N5000 transaction that was made on June 14 and paid to Adiba Online choppy,” he told the court.
When the prosecution asked the court to admit the written statements of the defendants, Chidinma’s counsel Onwuka Egwu, objected to the admissibility of the document. He argued that the defendant didn’t make the statements voluntarily that the statements were obtained by oppression, inducement intimidation and under duress.
The lawyer therefore urged the court to test the veracity of the voluntariness of the statements.
On the part of the second defendant’s counsel, Babatunde Busari, he did not object.
He also said that the third defendant’s counsel Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey also did not object.
The prosecutor prayed the court to conduct trial within trial for Chidinma.
The trial judge adjourned the case to November 8, for trial within trial.
The three defendants were arraigned on October, 12, 2021, 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 – stealing of iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.
Ojukwu and Quadri are alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021, 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.
The duo were also accused of committing forgery by procuring and making bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.
Justice Adesanya adjourned till November 8, 2022 for trial within trial.