A Lagos State High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square on Thursday heard how Chidinma Ojukwu transferred the sum of N5m on June 15, 2021, from Usifo Ataga’s account to another account.
The ninth prosecution witness, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, told the court while testifying in the ongoing trial of a 300-level Mass Communication undergraduate of the University of Lagos, Chidinma, who allegedly murdered the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga.
The security guard of the short-let service apartment, Abubakar Mohammed, where Ataga was murdered had during his evidence before the court on November 16, 2021, said that Chidinma left the apartment on Tuesday night which was June 15, 2021 and never came back.
He had also told the court that it was on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that the dead body of Ataga was discovered.
Ojukwu is standing trial before Justice Yetunde Adesanya for the alleged murder of Ataga.
She is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, told the court that the matter was for continuation of trial.
Bamidele, who had not finished giving evidence, was hauled into the witness box.
Oluwafemi asked for exhibit P11, which is the Access Bank statement of Ataga and asked the witness to tell the court why he had the bank statement of the deceased.
Bamidele said on June 15, the first defendant used the deceased’s phone to transfer N5m from his account to another bank.
“On June 16, 2021, four transactions of N20,000 was made from the deceased’s account on June 17, another withdrawal of N20,000 was made five times and the remarks was transfer between customers.
“On same June 16, N50,000 was transferred to Nkech Mogbo, another N11,200 was also transferred to Caprical Capital. On the same June 16, another N50,000 was transferred from Ataga’s account to Mogbo and another N93,000 transferred from Ataga’s GTBank account to his Access Bank account.
“A transfer of N110,000.75 kobo was debited from the deceased’s account on June 18, 2021.
“On June 19, 2021, a transfer of N20,000 was made four times; on that same day, another transfer of N20,000 was made five times and it was through the USSD code,” Bamidele said.
The witness also explained to the court how they wrote GTB to get Ataga’s statement of account.
He said on June 13, 2021, there was an internet transfer of N10,000 to Chidinma; another N105,000 was also transferred to Chidinma on same June 13, for the payment of the short service let, paid to Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the apartment.
“On that same June 13, there was a N13,000 purchase transaction at Ango Villa, 14,200, transaction for purchase at Dwine Bar global, on the same June 13, there was a transfer of N20,399.
“On June 14, 2021, there was N21,000 transfer from Ataga’s account to Chidinma’s account and another transfer of N15,000 paid to Chidinma, there was a N5000 transaction that was made on June 14 and paid to Adiba Online choppy,” he said.
When the prosecution sought to admit the written statements of the defendants, Chidinma’s counsel, Onwuka Egwu, objected to the admissibility of the document.
He said she didn’t make the statements voluntarily that the statements were obtained by oppression, inducement, intimidation and under duress and urged the court to test the veracity of the voluntariness of the statements.
The second defendant’s counsel, Babatunde Busari, did not object, but said the third defendant’s counsel, Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey, did not also object.
However, the prosecutor prayed the court to conduct trial within trial for Chidinma.
Consequently, Justice Adesanya adjourned the case to November 8 for trial within trial.
Ojukwu was arraigned alongside two others – Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu – on October, 12, 2021, on a nine-count over alleged murder of Ataga, preferred against them by Lagos State Government.
Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
The third defendant, Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count of receiving a stolen iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.
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.