Criminal Law

How Chidinma transferred N5m from Ataga’s account -Witness

A Lagos High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square on Thursday, heard how Chidinma transferred the sum of N5m,on June 15, 2021 from Usifo Ataga’s account to another account(Tus inwas on Tuesday, the day she said she stabbed Ataga for demanding for more sex in her video confessional statement).

The ninth prosecution witness DSP Olusegun Bamidele, told the court while testifying in the ongoing trial of a 300 level Mass Communication under graduate, of the University of Lagos Chidinma Ojukwu, who allegedly murder Usifo Ataga the Chief Executive Officer of Super Tv.

The Security guard of the short Let service apartment Abubakar Mohammed where Ataga was murdered had during his evidence before the court on November, 16, 2021, said that Chidinma left the apartment on Tuesday, night which was June 15,2021 and never came back.

He had also told the court that it was on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that the dead body of Ataga was discovered.

Ojukwu is standing trial before Justice Yetunde Adesanya for the alleged murder of Ataga.

She is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.

At the resumed hearing, of the case on Thursday, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP), Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, told the court that the matter was for continuation of trial.

Bamidele who had not finished giving evidence was hauled into the witness box.

Oluwafemi asked for exhibit P11, which is the Access 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 Access 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 has been in control of the account she purchased airtime.

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 Nkech Mogbo, another N11,200 of fund was also transferred to Caprical Capital, on the same June 16, another N50,000 was transferred to from Ataga’s account to Mogbo and another N93,000 transferred from Ataga’s Gtb bank to his Access bank account.

“A transfer of N110,000.75kobo was debited from the deceased’s account on June 18, 2021.

” On June 19, 2021, a transfer of N20,000 was made four times on that same day another transfer of N20,000 was made five times and it was through the USSD code,” Bamidele said.

The witness also explained to the court how they wrote Gtb Bank to get Ataga’s statement of account.

He said 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, 14,200, 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 said.

When the prosecution sought to admit the written statements of the defendants, Chidinma’s counsel Onwuka Egwu, objected to the admissibility of the document.

He said that she didn’t make the statements voluntarily that the statements were obtained by oppression, inducement intimidation and under duress and urged the court to test the veracity of the voluntariness of the statements.

The second defendant’s counsel Babatunde Busari, did not object, but said that the third defendant’s counsel Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey also did not object.

However the prosecutor prayed the court to conduct trial within trial for Chidinma.

Consequently Justice Adesanya adjourned the case to November 8, for trial within trial.

Ojukwu was arraigned alongside two others Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu on October, 12, 2021, on a nine-count charge over alleged murder of Ataga 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 of receiving a stolen iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.

Ojukwu and Quadri were alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him several times with a knife on the neck and chest.

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