COURTROOM NEWS 26/05/2022
Usifo Ataga: Ill-Health By Defence Counsel Stalls Murder Trial
Ill-health by defence counsel, on Thursday, stalled trial of an undergraduate, Chidinma Ojukwu, charged with murder of Mr Usifo Ataga, Chief Executive Officer of Super TV.
Ojukwu is facing trial along with her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri, before a Lagos high court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square.
They are charged on nine counts bordering on murder, stealing and forgery.
Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
Egbuchu is facing the ninth count of stealing of iPhone 7 belonging to Ataga.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trial was also stalled on May 12 due to change of counsel by Egbuchu.
Egbuchu’s new counsel, Mr Ngozi Akandu, had, on May 12, asked that more legible documents be served him.
He also requested for time to study them.
On Thursday, counsel to Ojukwu, Mr Onwuka Egwu, read to the court, a letter written by Akandu, notifying the court that he was ill, and asking for an adjournment.
In her response, Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, prosecution counsel and Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, said, “Anybody can fall sick at any time; therefore, I do not oppose the application.”
Counsel to Ojukwu (first defendant) and Quadri (second defendant) aligned with prosecution counsel’s submission.
Consequently, Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case until July 7 for continuation of trial.
NAN reports that the three defendants were arraigned on Oct. 12, 2021.
They are being prosecuted by Lagos State Government.
Ojukwu and Quadri are alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021 by stabbing him several times on the neck and chest with a knife.
The alleged murder took place at No. 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos State.
The duo was also accused of committing forgery by procuring and making bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased. (NAN)