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Usifo Ataga: Chidinma, others to face murder trial

A Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court yesterday recommended Chidinma Ojukwu, for trial at the Lagos State High Court over the alleged murder of Chief Executive Officer of Super Television, Michael Usifo Ataga.

Apart from Chidinma, others recommended for trial are Adedapo Quadri and Chidinma’ a sister Chioma Egbuchu, who was found in possession of the deceased’s iPhone 7.

Magistrate Mrs Adeola Adedayo, made the recommendation following legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution that there is a prima facie case of conspiracy to murder, murder, conspiracy to commit forgery, making of documents without authority and stealing established against them.

Meanwhile, the court discharged Chidinma’s father Onoh Ojukwu, Babalola Disu,
Abayomi Olutayo, and Ifeoluwa Olowu, who are the first, second, fourth and fifth defendants respectively but recommended the third defendant Chioma Egbuchu for trial.

She adjourned the case till September, 29, for the outcome of the case filed at the high court, and remanded Chidinma and the two others for further directive.

When the matter came up yesterday, the Police Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Cyril Ejiofor, informed the court that the legal advice from the DPP, was out.

The DPP’s advice was read to the court and the magistrate made the recommendations.

In the advice, The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, recommended Chidinma Ojukwu and two others for trial over the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super Television, Michael Ataga.

In the legal advice issued on 20 August 2021, the DPP cleared four other suspects and asked that they should be released.

Apart from Chidinma Ojukwu, others recommended for trial alongside her are Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu.

Chioma was found in possession of the deceased’s iPhone 7, and had initially refused to release the phone on demand.

According to the DPP, a prima facie case of conspiracy to murder, murder, and conspiracy to commit forgery was established against the suspects.

She said ” After careful consideration of facts available in the case file, this office is of the view that a prima facie case of conspiracy to murder, murder, forgery, making of documents without authority and stealing contrary to Sections 233, 222, 411, 363 and 370 of the criminal laws of Lagos 2015, has been established against Chidinma and two others.

” Facts available also established against Chidinma, the offence of having possession of things reasonably suspected to have been stolen, contrary to Section 329, of the criminal law of Lagos 2015,” the DPP said.

The four suspects listed by the DPP for release are Onoh Ojukwu, Babalola Disu,Olutayo Abayomi and Olowu Ifeoluwa.

The DPP, after careful consideration of facts, said she was of the view that no offence had been disclosed against the other four persons in respect of the case.

“No offence has been disclosed against them and they should be released if still in custody,” Adeyemi said.

The police had on August, 9, 2021, brought a remand request before the court, asking the court to remand the suspects to enable the Police carry out further investigation in the case, the court granted the remand request and ordered that Chidinma and Adedapo, should be remanded for 30 days, and adjourned for the DPP’s legal advice.

But the police docked Chidinma’s adopted father, Onoh Ojukwu and four others for obstruction of justice.

Ojukwu, 57, and Babalola Disu, 42, were charged with obstructing the police from performing their duties and failing to report a crime to the police.

The other three defendants, Chioma Jessica Egbochi, 28; Abayomi Olutayo, 23; and Ifeoluwa Olowu, 23, they were accused of dishonestly receiving stolen items.

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