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Ataga: How We Tracked, Arrest Chidinma Ojukwu Through Her Phone- Police

A prosecution witness, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, on Monday told Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, that Chidinma Ojukwu, accused of murdering the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, was tracked and arrested through her phone.

Bamidele, who is the ninth prosecution witness in the trial of the 22-year-old 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, also told the judge that the police were able to
tracked Ojukwu to 57, Akinwunmi Street Alagomeji, Yaba through her phone.

Ojukwu was arraigned before the court alongside one Adedapo Quadri on a eight-counts bordering on the offences of murder, forgery and stealing.

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The state also arraigned Chidinma’s sister, Egbuchu Chioma from whom the late Ataga’s iPhone 7, was said to have been recovered on one count.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The police officer was led in evidence by the Lagos State Director for Public Prosecutions, Mrs A. O. Oluwafemi.

DSP Bamidele informed the court that the case was transferred from the Maroko police station to his department at SCID Yaba.

The witness stated that the case was transferred and assigned to his team on June 17, 2021, with a suspect, Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the apartment where the incident occurred.

He said that the investigating police officer (IPO) from Maroko police station explained to him, how a complaint about a body with a mark of violence was brought to their station.

Bamidele said that the IPO from Maroko also informed him that he took pictures and made a phone.

The witness narrated that after receiving the complaint from the Maroko IPO, he visited the scene of the crime alongside the IOP and Mogbo, the owner of the place.

“We met the security guard who took us into the apartment and I observed that there were blood stains on the floor, the bed was ruffled with blood stains on the pillow and the Duvet.

“The IPO also took me to Yaba general hospital mortuary, to see the body and I observed that there were stab wounds on the deceased body, including injuries on his head and knees.

“I also saw that the two wrists had marks indicating that they were tied,” Bamidele said.

The witness said that he interacted with Mogbo, she informed him that on June 13, a phone call came from one Jewel, who requested a room at her short service apartment.

He also said that the security guard at the apartment also told him how the body of the deceased was discovered at the apartment where the said Jewel lodged with the deceased.

Bamidele also said that the security guard at the apartment gave him a phone number which the said Jewel had used in calling him while at the apartment.

“After getting the information from the security guard, we engaged a tracking team.

“The trackers with the intelligent and tactical unit, tracked one Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu, down, at No. 57, Akinwunmi St., Alagomeji Yaba,” he said.

The witness also told the court that the statements of the owner of the apartment and the security were all taken and he identified the statements which were already in court as exhibits.

He also said that the pictures and videos on his phone were downloaded into a disc by an information technology expert in his office.

However, the prosecution counsel at that point, prayed for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to bring the video for viewing and to tender it as evidence.

Earlier, an Access Bank account officer to the deceased, Toafeek Lawal, gave evidence as to the eighth witness.

He gave evidence on the Naira account statements of the deceased starting from April 1, 2021, to August 31, 2021.

He said that there were, however, no transactions on the account from June 19 to August 31.

He said that immediately the bank learnt of the death of late Usifo Ataga, the bank placed a Post No Debit (POD) on the account to stop any debit from being effected on the account.

He said that their monies were transferred from the deceased account on June 16 and the transactions were done through the USSD platform to the deceased other account.

Lawal, also said that on June 17, some monies were transferred to the deceased account but on June 18, some monies were transferred from the deceased account to a different account.

He said that the deceased operated two accounts with the bank which were a Naira account and a Domiciliary account.

The witness was cross-examined by the first defendant’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu.

Egwu asked the witness to confirm that in a USSD mode of transfer, “the password is exclusive to the owner of the account”

The witness answered that the password was meant to be exclusive unless the owner decided otherwise.

Egwu also asked the witness to confirm how many payments were made to the first defendant during the period the statement covered.

The witness answered that it was only once.

Justice Adesanya has adjourned the case to May 10 for the continuation of trial.

27th May 2022
Nigerian Pantagraph
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