Usifo Ataga murder trial: Police investigator claims prime suspect, Chidinma Ojukwu, was having sexual relations with her foster father

The trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, the key suspect in the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga continued at the Lagos High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square today November 8 with a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Olusegun Bamidele, informing the court that Chidinma was having a sexual relationship with her foster father, Onoh Ojukwu.

Bamidele who is serving with the homicide department of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti Yaba, made this disclosure while being cross-examined by Chidinma’s lawyer, Mr Onwuka Egwu, during a trial within trial to determine the voluntariness of her confessional statements.

Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication undergraduate, is standing trial alongside Adedapo Quadri who was alleged to have conspired with her to murder Ataga, her lover, on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him several times with a knife on the neck and chest.

A third defendant, her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, is charged with receiving a stolen iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga. At the last sitting of the court, Bamidele who is the ninth prosecution witness had told the court how Chidinma transferred the sum of N5m, on June 15, 2021 from Usifo Ataga’s account to another account. He had also told Justice Yetunde Adesanya how the handwritten statement of Chidinma was taken and how the second and third defendants were arrested.

When the prosecution sought to admit the written statements of the defendants, Chidinma’s counsel, Egwu, objected to the admissibility of the document. He said that the statements were obtained by oppression, inducement intimidation and under duress and urged the court to conduct a trial within trial to determine its voluntariness.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, Bamidele who was led in evidence in the trial within trial narrated how Chidinma was arrested and how she was interrogated. He also told the court that the first time she was arrested, he was not a part of the arresting crew.

“That night on June 23, 2021, the first team that visited came back with three people. The first defendant is Chidinma Ojukwu, her foster father, Onoh Ojukwu and an under-aged girl. That were the people I saw. I was in the second team that visited the address.”

He confirmed that Chidinma was rearrested on July 25 and kept in detention till August 19, 2021.

“Mr Ojukwu was not kept in the cell, he was kept in a protective room and he received and escorted visitors at will.

In the course of his staying with us, we stumbled on intelligence that there was an amorous (sexual) relationship between the first defendant and her foster father, and that gave us the impetus that Mr Ojukwu was not sincere in his statements with us as he was aware of the offence for which the first defendant is standing trial today.

We also established that the mother of the first defendant never approved the custody of the first defendant to Ojukwu and it was on this basis that we charged him to court alongside the three defendants at the Magistrate Court so that the court can decide if he can get bail.”

The court has adjourned till November 10, for the continuation of trial within trial.

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