DSP Olusegun Bamidele Bamidele, the ninth prosecution witness in the murder case of Usifo Ataga, told a Lagos High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square how the main suspect Chidinma Ojukwu transferred N5 million from the Super TV Chief Executive Officer’s bank account on the day she allegedly stabbed him to death.
Thursday, Bamidele told the High Court how On June 15, 2021, a University of Lagos student in the 300-level Mass Communication class moved N5 million from Ataga’s account to another account. He did this while testifying in front of the High Court.
Abubakar Mohammed, the security guard of the short let service apartment where Ataga was killed while testifying in court on November 16, 2021, said that Chidinma left the apartment on a Tuesday night, which was June 15, 2021, and never came back. The security guard also told the court that the dead body of Ataga was found on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
Chidinma is on trial before Justice Yetunde Adesanya for the alleged murder of Ataga. She, along with her sister Chioma Egbuchu and someone named Adedapo Quadri, are also charged with theft and forgery. On October 12, 2021, Chidinma, Quadri, and Egbuchu were all charged with nine counts of murder by the Lagos State Government.
Chidinma and Quadri are accused of conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making false bank statements, and stealing. Egbuchu is accused of receiving a stolen iPhone 7 that belonged to the late Super TV CEO, which is the ninth count. According to the charges against them, Chidinma and Quadri planned to kill Ataga on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him in the neck and chest several times with a knife. At the resumption of the case hearing on Thursday, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP), told the court that the case would continue.
During the next part of the trial, Bamidele, who was still giving evidence, was brought into the witness box, where the DPP, Oluwafemi, asked for Access Bank Statement of Ataga, which is Exhibit P11. She asked the witness why he had the bank records of the person who had died.
In response, Bamidele told the court that during the investigation, the police wrote to Access Bank and asked for the deceased person’s bank statement so they could figure out why Chidinma might have killed the Super TV CEO. They were given a copy of the statement.
Bamidele also said that a close look at the copies of the bank statements and the fact that the phones of the deceased were already in the possession of the first defendant, who had been in charge of the account, showed that on June 15, 2021, the first defendant used the phone of the deceased to transfer N5 million from his account to another bank.
The witness went on to say, “On June 16, 2021, four transactions of N20,000 were made from the deceased’s account, and on June 17, another N20,000 was taken out of the account five times, with the note “transfer between customers.”
“On June 16, N50,000 was sent to Nkechi Mogbo, and N11,200 was sent to Caprical Capital. On the same day, June 16, N50,000 was sent from Ataga’s account to Mogbo, and N93,000 was sent from Ataga’s GTBank account to his Access Bank account. On June 18, 2021, N110,075.00 was taken out of the account of the person who had died.
“On June 19, 2021, N20,000 was transferred four times. On the same day, N20,000 was transferred five times through the USSD code.”
Bamidele went on to say that they wrote to GTBank to get Ataga’s account statement and that on June 13, 2021, N10,000 was sent via the internet to Chidinma. On the same day, N105,000 was sent to Chidinma to pay the owner of the short let service apartment, Nkechi Mogbo, for the short let service apartment.
“On the same day, June 13, N13,000 was spent to buy something at Ango Villa. N14,200 was spent to buy something at Dwine Bar Global. On the same day, June 13, N20,399 was transferred.
“On June 14, 2021, N21,000 was transferred from Ataga’s account to Chidinma’s account, and another N15,000 was paid to Chidinma. On the same day, N5,000 was paid to Adiba Online choppy.”
It was said that when the prosecution tried to let the defendants’ written statements in, Chidinma’s lawyer, Onwuka Egwu, argued that the document shouldn’t be allowed in because the first defendant, Chidinma, didn’t make the statements on his own.
The lawyer said that the statements were made under pressure, threat, or coercion, and he asked the court to test whether or not the statements were made voluntarily.
The lawyer for the second defendant, Babatunde Busari, did not object. Neither did the lawyer for the third defendant, M. A. Abia-Bassey. But the prosecutor asked the court to hold a separate trial for Chidinma inside the main trial. After hearing from both sides, Justice Adesanya put the case off until November 8, when there will be a trial within a trial.