A Lagos State High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on Thursday, October 27, heard how Chidinma Ojukwu transferred N5 million from Usifo Ataga’s account to another account.
It’s alleged that Chidimma carried out the act on June 15, 2021, the day Utaga was murdered. The ninth prosecution witness in the trial, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, disclosed this while testifying in the ongoing trial of Ojukwu.
The 300-level Mass Communication undergraduate of the University of Lagos is standing trial before Justice Yetunde Adesanya for the alleged murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV.
Chidinma is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.
Abubakar Mohammed, the security guard of the shortlet service apartment had during his evidence before the court on November 16, 2021, said that Chidinma left the apartment on the night of Tuesday, June 15, 2021 and never came back.
He also told the court that it was on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that the dead body of Ataga was discovered.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday October 27, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP), Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, told the court that the matter was for continuation of trial.
Oluwafemi asked for exhibit P11 which is the Bank statement of Ataga and asked the witness to tell the court why he had the bank statements of the deceased.
The witness said that 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’a bank, they wrote Bank asking for the bank statement of the deceased and a copy was given to them.
He said that from 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 have been in control of the account she purchased airtime.
Bamidele said that, on June 15, 2021, Ojukwu, the first defendant, used the deceased’s phone to transfer five million Naira 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 remark was: transfer between customers.
“On the same June 16, N50,000 was transferred to Nkechi Mogbo, N11,200 transferred to Caprical Capital.
On the same June 16, another N50,000 was transferred from Ataga’s account to Mogbo and N93,000 transferred from Ataga’s GTBank to his Access bank account,” he testified.
He added that N110,000.75kobo was debited from the deceased’s account on June 18, 2021.
“On June 19, 2021, a transfer of N20,000 was made four times, another transfer of N20,000 was made five times and it was through the USSD code,” Bamidele said.
The witness also told the court that the police wrote to the bank to get Ataga’s statement of account.
He said that on June 13, 2021, there was an internet transfer of N10,000 to Ojukwu, adding that N105,000 was transferred to her on same day for payment of the apartment where Ataga died.
He said that the payment was to Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the apartment.
“On that same June 13, there was a N13,000 purchase transaction at Ango Villa, 14,200 transaction for purchase at Dwine Bar Global. On the same June 13, there was also 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 to Chidinma.
“There was a N5,000 transaction that was made on June 14 and paid to Adiba online choppy,” he said.
When prosecution sought that written statements of the defendant should be admitted in evidence, Ojukwu’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu, objected to the admissibility.
He said that Ojukwu did not make the statements voluntarily. He said that the statements were obtained by oppression, inducement, intimidation and under duress.
The counsel urged the court to test the veracity of the voluntariness of the statements. The second defendant’s counsel, Mr Babatunde Busari, did not object to the admissibility.
Egbuchu’s counsel, Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey also did not object. Thus, the prosecution counsel prayed the court to conduct trial within trial on that.
The judge adjourned the case to November 8, 2022, for trial within trial.