Yaba Magistrates’ Court yesterday remanded Chidinma Ojukwu, suspect in the murder of SuperTV chief executive Usifo Ataga.
Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo ordered that she be remanded for 30 days following an application by police counsel Cyril Ejiofor.
Mrs Adedayo also remanded Ojukwu’s codefendant Adedapo Quadri on the same terms.
Ejiofor had prayed the court to remand Ojukwu in police custody pending the issuance of a Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) report on the matter.
“The remand is to enable the DPP come up with legal advice. We pray for the remand of the defendants for the first 30 days in the first instance,” he said.
Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD) Dr Babajide Martins, who announced appearance for Chidinma, complained that he did not get the remand application on time.
Nevertheless, he declined to oppose Ejiofor’s prayer “in principle.”
Quadri had no legal representation.
Mrs Adedayo granted the prosecution’s prayer and adjourned till September 5, for review of remand/DPP’s advice.”
Ojukwu, a 21-year-old Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, was arrested by the police on June 23, 2021.
She was said to have been in a romantic relationship with 50-year-old Ataga for about four months before the incident.
Following her parade by the police on June 24, the undergraduate said she and Ataga were “having fun” when an argument broke out and she stabbed him twice while under the influence of hard drugs and other intoxicants.
But things took a dramatic turn on July 13 when Chidinma recanted, saying she had nothing to do with Ataga’s murder.
Yesterday, the State Criminal Investigative and Intelligence Department (SCIID) Panti, also brought criminal charges against Mr Onoh Ojukwu, Chidinma’s father.
The police arraigned Ojukwu and four others before the court where Chidinma was earlier arraigned and remanded.
Ojukwu, 57, and Babalola Disu, 42, were charged with obstructing the police from performing their duties and failing to report a crime to the police.
The three other defendants, Jessica Egbochi, 28; Abayomi Olutayo, 23; and Ifeoluwa Olowu, 23, were accused of dishonestly receiving stolen items.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecution counsel Cyril Ejiofor alleged that the defendants committed the offences on June 18 and 23, at Computer village, Ikeja, and Alagomeji, Yaba.
He alleged that Ojukwu prevented the police from arresting his daughter, Chidinma.
He added that second defendant Disu failed to report Ataga’s death to the police.
According to Ejiofor, the other three defendants dishonestly received a MacBook valued at N2.5 million and an iPhone 7 worth N150,000 belonging to the deceased.
The court heard that the offences contravened Sections 97, 117, 328 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo, granted each defendant N1 million bail with two sureties each in like sum, who must make a deposit of N20,000 into the coffers of the Chief registrar.
She adjourned till September 6 for mention.
Watch Leakblast TV channel from around the world
SUPPORT LEAKBLAST JOURNALISM OF INTEGRITY AND CREDIBILITY
Good journalism costs a lot of money.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble Endeavor.
By contributing to LeakBlast, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.