The Lagos State Government has arraigned Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri, the two key suspects in the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Micheal Usifo Ataga, before a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to seven counts of conspiracy, murder by stabbing, and forgery. Chidinma alone is accused of stealing Mr Ataga’s personal belongings, while her sister, Chioma was also arraigned for allegedly receiving stolen property.
This is the first time Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri will appear at the High Court. The case had previously been heard at the Magistrates’ Court, Yaba.
But, following a legal advice by the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution’s, it was transferred to the High Court which has the jurisdiction to hear murder trials.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Olayinka Adeyemi, told Justice Yetunde Adesanya that the defendants conspired amongst themselves and allegedly murdered Mr ataga by stabbing him severally with a knife on his neck and chest, on June 15, 2021 at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
They are also accused of conspiring to commit forgery, by procuring and making false bank account statements of the deceased.
In another count, both defendants also allegedly forged an international passport and a driver’s license In Chidinma’s name.
In count eight, Chidinma alone is accused of stealing an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 11, one Apple MacBook Laptop and two ATM cards all belonging to the late Usifo Ataga from which the sum of N380,000 was subsequently withdrawn.
The first two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, the highest punishment of which is a death sentence for murder, if found guilty under section 223 of the criminal laws of Lagos State 2015.
Chidinma’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu also pleaded not guilty to being found in possession of Mr Ataga’s stolen iPhone 7 on June 22, 2021.
Defense counsel, Onwuka Egwu represented Miss Ojukwu, with Babatunde Busari appearing for the 2nd defendant, while the Director of the Office of the Public Defender in Lagos State represented the 3rd defendant.
Justice Adesanya, remanded the first and second defendants in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Services and allowed the third defendant to continue on the bail granted her at the Magistrate court.
The case was adjourned till November, 9 and 11 for trial.