Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on Thursday received more exhibits in the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu for the alleged murder of SuperTV owner Usifo Ataga.
The exhibit – Ataga’s bank statement – was produced by his account officer with Guarantee Trust (GT) Bank, Okike Obaji, and tendered through prosecution counsel, Mrs A. O. Oluwafemi.
They concerned transactions made to Chidinma Ojukwu through the late Ataga’s GT Bank account.
Ojukwu, a 300-level, Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos (Unilag), is facing trial for the alleged offence alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.
At the commencement of proceedings, Okike was led in evidence by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Oluwafemi.
The banker presented Ataga’s statement and told Justice Yetunde Adesanya that the bank became aware of Ataga’s death on June 17, 2021.
He said for the security of customer assets, the bank placed a ‘no debit’ restriction on the account to halt transactions “till we get further confirmation or advice.”
He noted that page 12 of the statement, on the column marked ‘remarks’, recorded transactions totalling N50,000 debits from Ataga’s bank account to Mogbo Nkechi, the owner of the apartment where he was found dead.
During cross-examination by defence counsel Onwuka Egwu, the witness stated that the transactions were made in tranches of N10,000 on the 13th of June, and N25,000 and N15,000 on the 14th of June to Chidinma Adaora.
Following the completion of the cross-examination, the court admitted the exhibit.
Further proceedings were adjourned till May 9.
First defendant Ojukwu and second defendant Quadri were alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him multiple times with a knife in the neck and chest.
The alleged murder took place in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
The duo was also accused of committing forgery by procuring and making bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.
Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
Egbuchu is facing the ninth count of stealing an iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.
All defendants pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on October 12, 2021, following which trial commenced.