A witness, Raman Saliu, who is also a partner at Super Network Limited, the parent company of Super TV, said Usifo Ataga’s body was seen with deep cuts on his neck to the back, on the stomach, and around the ribs.
Mr Saliu, a network engineer and programmer, told Yetunde Adesanya, a judge at a Lagos High Court in TBS, that his friend of ten years was killed like a “chicken.”
According to him, there were seven stab wounds on the deceased’s body.
Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, and two others are on trial over Mr Ataga’s murder.
The alleged murder took place at the Lekki Phase 1, area of Lagos.
Mr Saliu said he got a call from the deceased saying he had blood pressure and he suggested some drugs to him and advised him to take a rest.
He said they scheduled an executive meeting on Wednesday around 2 p.m. on June 15, 2021, and he called him in the morning that an assignment was completed but he got no response.
Mr Saliu said he later got a WhatsApp message from the deceased saying “I saw your missed call, I took some drugs that have made me sleeping.”
He said the English grammar was suspicious and couldn’t have come from the deceased.
He said he sent him a screenshot of the task they had talked about but his response was, “ok great.”
He said he wasn’t convinced that the message came from the deceased because he would be excited over the task.
Mr Saliu said he contacted Mr Usifo’s driver and Personal Assistant but they said they had not seen him.
He said he went to the deceased’s hang-out spots where they had been together before his death and didn’t see him there.
Mr Saliu said he raised the alarm on June 16, adding that the deceased phone was going through but nobody answered it.
Ms Ojukwu taken back to the prison in a white bus
Mr Saliu said the last message to the deceased was on June 16, at 10:30 a.m. which said “Bros where are you, I’m worried, My BP is rising.” But the message was read and there was no response.
He said the following day, he got a call from Mr Ataga’s wife, Brenda Ataga, asking for the deceased’s whereabouts.
He said they traced the deceased’s phone to Unilag while noting that he got a phone call from the bank whom he had asked to help trace a transaction that could help with a lead as to where the deceased could be.
The banker called and said Mr Ataga made a transaction on Sunday and Monday to an Airbnb apartment (the short let apartment) and Sterling Bank.
However, he said he learnt of Mr Ataga’s demise from Mrs Ataga and on June 23, he got a call from the police that Ms Ojukwu had been arrested with the recovery of the deceased’s phone and laptop.
This newspaper observed that the suspect was taken back to prison in a white bus and not the regular prison van.
The judge adjourned the case to February 17 for the continuation of trial.