The ninth prosecution witness, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, in the ongoing trial of Chidinma Ojukwu over the murder of the chief executive officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, yesterday, told the court that the defendant confessed committing the crime during interrogation.
Bamidele, who is serving with the homicide department of the State Criminal Investigating Department (SCID) also informed the trial judge, Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, that a maroon-colour cloth which the defendant wore on the day the deceased was murdered was also recovered from her.
Ojukwu was arraigned before the court alongside one Adedapo Quadri on an eight-counts bordering on the offences of murder, forgery and stealing.
The state also arraigned Chidinma’s sister, Egbuchu Chioma from whom the late Ataga’s iPhone 7, was said to have been recovered on one count.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charge and Justice Adesanya adjourned further hearing in the matter to May 12, 2022.
Bamidele, who started his testimony on Monday, was led in evidence by the Lagos State Director for Public Prosecutions, Olajide Martin.
The witness said, “While I was investigating into the background, I and a friend of the deceased went to Angel Villa Hotel in Lekki. The owner of the hotel was approached and the story was related to him. Luckily the hotel had CCTV which revealed the presence of the deceased and Chidinma at the hotel.
“After we tracked her to her home in Alagomeji and brought her to the DCP’s office, she was asked about her relationship with the deceased. She denied it initially and this prompted us to deploy the CCTV. She then agreed that she is the Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu we were looking for.
“We then took her in the company of her foster father, one Onoh Ojukwu back to the house in Alagomeji where we initially arrested her. We conducted a search of the house in their presence.
“The search yielded a maroon-colour cloth which Chidinma wore on the day the late Usifo Ataga was murdered.
“The cloth was stained with blood. Then Onoh Ojukwu shouted: ‘Chidinma, you have killed me, you have done something wrong outside.’ Chidinma was also crying. We also recovered the black/blue long-sleeved gown she wore when she left the apartment in Lekki. This further established that she has something to do with the deceased.
“We recovered Access Bank statements of the deceased, we recovered UBA bank statements with the name Mary Johnson, an ID card with Chidinma’s picture but which carried the name Mary Johnson, an international passport with her picture, a UNIPORT certificate with Chidinma’s name boldly written on it, her phone and some other documents I can’t recollect. We then went back to the office,” the witness claimed.
Bamidele further testified that at the office, he provided Chidinma with some food, a malt drink and water, and she ate it, after which he started to question her and record her statement.
The police officer stated, “She said she knew the deceased, that they met at a hangout in Victoria Island. The deceased was introduced to her by her friend’s boyfriend. She mentioned the friend as Fiyin and the boyfriend as Tony. She said the relationship started in February and after a while, they developed sexual relations.
“I remember she mentioned a date, 12th June 2021. She received a call from the deceased that they needed to see and go out. Based on the request, she sourced the apartment.
“She confessed that shortly after she arrived at the apartment, on the 13th, the deceased drove in, in his Range Rover. On his arrival, she said they were both hungry and drove out to eat and returned to the apartment, watched the film, and conversed leading up to sex. They also engaged in smoking. On the 14th, they did the same thing.
“She said she initially came in with the loud smoke. That’s the name she called it. After they finished it, they needed more. She recollected that she made a call to the second defendant, Quadri who helped her source for the loud and another drug called Rohypnol. She also mentioned that the items were brought in through a dispatch rider to the apartment.
“She described Adedapo Quadri as someone introduced to her by a friend. That Dapo supplied the drugs to her. The IPO asked her about the potency of the drugs. She responded that a tablet is enough to knock out whoever uses it while loud is a cigarette light smoke.
“She said on the 15th, after engaging in smoking, the deceased asked for more sex, which she denied him. The deceased went to the chair to relax and she thought he was no more interested in sex, only for him to return to the bed to ask for more sex. She said she pushed him away, which resulted in him knocking her head against a stool that had a glass.
“Having sustained injury on the head and knees, there was a struggle between them and she said she managed to lay hands on a kitchen knife with which she stabbed the deceased on the neck twice. She confessed that she stabbed him severally without counting and the deceased eventually fell to the floor in the room,” Bamidele said.
The witness also narrated to the court Chidinma’s statement on how she met the second defendant, Adedapo Quadri.
“When we interacted with the first defendant, she mentioned the second defendant, Quadri and how they met.
“On the premise of this, we searched the call logs of the 1st defendant since she said she doesn’t know his house or address. The call log showed regular calls between both of them. They spoke on the phone twice on the 15th of June 2021. On the 17th, there was a conversation between both of them about 3 times. On the 18th, there was a conversation twice. On the 21st of June, it is also established that they called each other and this prompted the tracking team to swing into action. Eventually, he was tracked to Surulere in Lagos, arrested and brought to the office”, the policeman said.
“During interactions with him, he confessed that he knows the first defendant who was introduced to him by one of his friends called Sam. The same Sam had earlier told Chidinma that Adedapo Quadri is capable and can assist her to prepare any documents she needs.
“Quadri also mentioned that Sam gave him Chidinma’s phone number after which he called Chidinma and they agreed on where to meet. He confirmed that they met at Sabo and another time at the Alagomeji area.
“During their interactions, he agreed to the request of Chidinma to assist her with preparing certain documents. The documents he assisted her to procure are a driver’s license, an identity card, a UBA statement of accounts, an Access bank statement of accounts and a passport.
“The UBA statement of account carried the name Mary Johnson while the Access bank statement has Michael Usifo Ataga’s name on it.
“The driver’s licence has the picture of the first defendant on it with the name, Mary Johnson,” said the witness.
The prosecution has told the court that it wants to make sure the officer gives evidence on all he knows about the case after which it will watch all the CDs gathered as evidence