Usifo Ataga: Court admits Chidinma Ojukwu’s statements as evidence despite protest


A Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Thursday admitted in evidence two handwritten statements made by Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect in the alleged murder of former Super TV chief executive officer, Usifo Ataga.

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According to Justice Yetunde Adesanya, the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the voluntariness of the defendant’s statements.

She said this while ruling on the trial within trial where the defendant objected to the admissibility of her statements.

Ojukwu, through her counsel, Onwuka Egwu, alleged that her statements were not voluntarily made.

The defendant alleged that she was slapped and forced to sign statements not voluntarily made by her.

The former 300-level Mass Communication undergraduate of the University of Lagos is standing trial for the alleged murder of Ataga.

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

While ruling on Thursday, Justice Adesanya said: “The videos tendered in court did not display any intimidation towards the defendant while she was writing her statements.

“The voice of the investigating police officer (IPO) was clear and audible. It did not show any form of intimidation.”

The judge, therefore, admitted the two statements in evidence and marked them as exhibits.

After the ruling, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Adenike Oluwafemi, prayed for adjournment.

She said that the police officer, who was still giving evidence before the trial within trial, was not present in court.

Oluwafemi said that the witness was out of the jurisdiction on official assignment.

Justice Adesanya adjourned the case until May 30 for continuation of trial.

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.