By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Lagos State Government has arraigned Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri, who are the two key suspects in the murder of the CEO of Super TV, Micheal Usifo Ataga, before the State High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square.
The two defendants are facing an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
The first defendant’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu is charged with stealing the iPhone 7 of the late Ataga.
The State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, told the court that the defendants conspired and allegedly murdered the deceased on June 15, 2021.
She said that the incident took place at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
The DPP said that Ojukwu and the second defendant allegedly killed Ataga by stabbing him severally with a knife on his neck and chest.
Adeyemi said that the duo also allegedly conspired to commit forgery by procuring and making Access and UBA Bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.
The two are also alleged to have forged the account statement of one Mary from June 1, 2021.
The prosecutor also accused Ojukwu and Quadri of allegedly forging an international passport and a driver’s license In Ojukwu’s name.
In count eight of the charge, Ojukwu was accused of stealing two iPhones (an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 11) one Apple MacBook Laptop and ATM cards of Access and GT Banks belonging to the late Ataga from which the sum of N380,000 was subsequently withdrawn.
The prosecution also said that on June 22, 2021, Ojukwu’s sister, Egbuchu, was found in possession of a stolen iPhone 7, the property of the murdered media executive.
According to the prosecution, the offences committed is punishable under Sections 411, 233, 365 (2) b, 280, 329, of the criminal laws of Lagos State (2015).
21-year-old Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, who was arraigned before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, alongside Quadri and Egbuchi, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Earlier, Mr O Egwu, announced his appearance for the first defendant, while Mr Babatunde Busari, announced his appearance for the second defendant and the Director Office of the Public Defender, Dr Babajide Martins, appeared for the third defendant.
Ojukwu was alleged to have murdered Ataga at a service apartment in the Lekki area of Lagos.
Ataga was found dead with multiple stab wounds on June 16 at a short-let apartment on Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase I, where he had checked in with his lover, Ojukwu.
The primary defendant was consequently arrested on June 23 at her father’s house in Yaba and paraded at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters in Ikeja.
Ataga, 50, was buried on July 30 in a low-key ceremony attended by his family, including his wife and friends.
Justice Adesanya remanded the first and second defendants in prison custody and allowed the third defendant to continue on the bail granted her at the Magistrates’ Court.
The case was adjourned till November 9 and 11 for trial.