A police officer, Olusegun Bamidele, serving with the homicide department of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Yaba, has told the court how investigations revealed where the late Usifo Ataga and Chidinma Ojukwu might have met before arriving at the crime scene.
The police officer testified on Tuesday in the murder case of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Mr Ataga, at a High Court at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos.
“While I was investigating into the background, I and a friend of the deceased went to Angel Villa Hotel in Lekki,” said Mr Bamidele.
“The owner of the hotel was approached and the story was related to him. Luckily the hotel had CCTV which revealed the presence of the deceased and Chidinma at the hotel.
“After we tracked her to her home in Alagomeji (Yaba) and brought her to the DCP’s office, she was asked about her relationship with the deceased. She denied it initially and this prompted us to deploy the CCTV. She then agreed that she is the Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu we were looking for.”
“We then took her in the company of her foster father, one Onoh Ojukwu, back to the house in Alagomeji where we initially arrested her. We conducted a search of the house in their presence.”
According to the officer, the search yielded a maroon-coloured cloth that Ms Ojukwu wore on the day Mr Ataga was murdered.
“The cloth was stained with blood. Then Onoh Ojukwu shouted: ‘Chidinma, you have killed me, you have done something wrong outside.’
“Chidinma was also crying. We also recovered the black/blue long sleeves gown she wore when she left the apartment in Lekki. This further established that she has something to do with the deceased,” he said.
“We recovered Access bank statements of the deceased, we recovered UBA bank statements with the name Mary Johnson, an ID card with Chidinma’s picture but which carried the name, Mary Johnson.
An international passport with her picture, a Uniport certificate with Chidinma’s name boldly written on it, her phone, and some other documents I can’t recollect. We then went back to the office.”
He said at the office, he provided Ms Ojukwu with some food, malt drink, and water. She ate it, after which he started to question her and record her statement.
Mr Bamidele said that Ms Ojukwu said that the deceased was introduced to her by a friend at a hangout on Victoria Island and they developed a sexual relationship afterwards.
“I remember she mentioned a date, 12th June 2021. She received a call from the deceased that they needed to see and go out. Based on the request, she sourced for the apartment,” the officer said.
“She confessed that shortly after she arrived at the apartment, on the 13th, the deceased drove in, in his Range Rover. On his arrival, she said they were both hungry and drove out to eat and returned to the apartment, watched a film, and conversed leading up to sex. They also engaged in smoking Loud. On the 14th, they did the same thing.
“She said she initially came in with the Loud smoke. That’s the name she called it. After they finished it, they needed more. She recollected that she made a call to the second defendant, Quadri (Adedapo) who helped her source for the Loud and another drug called Rohypnol. She also mentioned that the items were brought in through a dispatch rider to the apartment.”
According to the police officer, the suspect described Mr Adedapo as her drug supplier.
“The IPO asked her the potency of the drugs. She responded that a tablet is enough to knock out whoever uses it while Loud is a cigarette light smoke,” he added.
Mr Bamidele said the event leading to the murder occurred when the deceased asked for more sex.
“She said she pushed him away, which resulted in him knocking her head against a stool that had a glass,” he said.
“Having sustained injury on the head and knees, there was a struggle between them and she said she managed to lay hands on a kitchen knife with which she stabbed the deceased on the neck twice. She confessed that she stabbed him severally without counting and the deceased eventually fell to the floor in the room.”
The police officer also narrated to the court how Ms Ojukwu met the second defendant, Mr Quadri.
“When we interacted with the first defendant, she mentioned the second defendant, Quadri, and how they met,” he said.
“On the premise of this, we searched the call logs of the 1st defendant since she said she doesn’t know his house or address. The call log showed regular calls between both of them.
He said they traced and arrested the second defendant in Surulere.
“During their interactions, he agreed to the request of Chidinma to assist her with preparing certain documents. The documents he assisted her to procure are a driver’s licence, an identity card, a UBA statement of accounts, an Access bank statement of accounts, and a passport.
“The UBA statement of account carried the name Mary Johnson while the Access bank statement had Michael Usifo Ataga’s name on it.
“The driver’s license has the picture of the first defendant on it with the name, Mary Johnson.” said the witness.
The prosecution lawyer told the court that it wants to make sure the officer gives evidence on all he knows about the case after which they will watch all the CD’s gathered as evidence.
The judge adjourned further proceedings.