Chidinma Ojukwu the alleged murderer of Michael Usifo Ataga, Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, has been crowned Miss Cell 2022.
She won a beauty pageant at the Kirikiri female prison, as they marked the International Women’s Day, with this year’s theme: “BreakingTheBias”.
Ojukwu, a 300-level, Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), who is facing trial alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri, for Ataga’s murder, competed with other inmates of the prison and won the coveted crown of Miss Cell 2022.
On the last adjourned date on February 21, Ojukwu’s trial was stalled due to the absence of the prosecution witness.
Ojukwu is standing trial before a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafa Balewa Square TBS.
The defendant is charged alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri, for alleged murder, stealing and forgery.
When the case was called on the last adjourned date the prosecution counsel, Mrs A. O. Oluwafemi, also Deputy Director of Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, told the court that their witness was not in court.
She applied to the court that the earlier dates fixed for the hearing of the case be vacated to enable the prosecution to get the Toxicology and DNA results needed for the trial.
She said the results were not available yet, adding that the next witness would be examined with those documents.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya, however, vacated all the dates earlier fixed and adjourned the next proceeding until April 25 for the continuation of trial.
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On February 17, an Investigative Police Officer, Inspector Ibrahim Isaka, gave his evidence before the court.
Isiaka, the sixth prosecution witness, narrated how police allegedly discovered Usifo Ataga, Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, in the pool of his blood.
The witness said that the police consequently called the emergency Unit at Yaba General Hospital and evacuated Ataga’s corpse.
He told the court that on June 16, 2021, a case of murder was reported at his place of work, Maroko Police Station.
According to him, at 11:30 p.m., one Mrs Nkechi Mogbo, came to the station and reported that a body was discovered at her short-service facility where people lodged.
He testified that Mogbo narrated to the police that the security guard at the facility informed her that the body of a man who lodged in the facility was discovered lying in the pool of his blood.
The witness said that Mogbo also told the police that a cleaner in the facility went to clean the apartment but there was no response from the people who lodged there.
He said that the security guard and the cleaner forcefully opened the door and discovered Ataga in the pool of blood.
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The witness said the police including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) went to the crime scene.
He said the DPO immediately called the Emergency Unit at Yaba General Hospital and the hospital came and evacuated the corpse.
The witness also said the following morning, June 17, the commissioner of police advised that the case be transferred to the Homicide Section, Panti.
He said that a police team from Panti asked him to follow the team to the crime scene and he did.
Isiaka said that the police found some clothes and a travelling bag in the apartment and collected the items for investigation.
He said that he wrote a statement and handed the case file to the police at Panti.
The prosecuting counsel tried to tender the witness statement but the second defendant counsel, Mr Babatunde Busari, objected.
However, after all the arguments, the judge overruled the objection and admitted the witness’ statement in evidence.
The three defendants were arraigned on October 12 on a nine-count charge 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.