Chidinma’s trial adjourned till Feb 13 over delay

The Nation reports that the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, has been adjourned.

The trial of Chidinma, the prime suspect in the murder of Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, was yesterday adjourned till February 13

Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) fixed the date following the prosecution’s failure to meet the 14-day deadline for replying to the written address of the defence.

The prosecutors – from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice – referenced the festive holidays as partly to blame for the delay.

Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), is standing trial for alleged murder, alongside her sister and third defendant Chioma Egbuchu, and second defendant Adedapo Quadri.

The trio is also charged with stealing and forgery. They have been on trial since October 12, 2021, following their arraignment before Justice Adesanya.

According to the Lagos State government, the murder happened on June 15, 2021, at a short-let apartment on No. 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The defendants denied the charge and are in Correctional Services custody pending the outcome of trial.

At the resumption of hearing Wednesday, the court could not adopt the written addresses of the parties to the trial within a trial.

Prosecution counsel T. E. Onilade said: “The first defendant’s address was served on us during the festive period. The address, which was dated December 23, 2022, was served on the Attorney-General’s office on December 30, and we only received service last week, but we have not replied.”

Chidinma’s lawyer, O. Okemezie confirmed that the address was dated December 23, 2022, as well as a Motion on Notice in support of the written address and a seven-paragraph affidavit.

Justice Adesanya adjourned till February 13, for adoption of the written addresses.

The court, on November 8, 2021, began the trial within trial to determine whether it should admit the confessional statement allegedly made by Ojukwu. Justice Adesanya made the decision following Ojukwu’s contention that she didn’t make the statements voluntarily, but they were rather obtained from her under duress and inducement.

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