Lagos State Government, through the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), is set to try Chidinma Ojukwu, her elder sister, Egbuchu Chioma, and Adedapo Quadri for the murder of Super TV CEO, Michael Ataga, while 11 others were cleared of the murder case.
Police prosecutor, Cyril Ajifor, disclosed this yesterday when the defendants were brought before Yaba Magistrate court.
The Chief Magistrate, Adeola Adedayo, who cleared 11 other suspects, said Quadri, Chidinma, and Chioma were indicted by the DPP legal advice.
Chief Magistrate Adedayo affirmed receiving a directive to hands off the case following the latest development.
The Guardian had earlier obtained a document dated August 20, showing that a prima facie case of conspiracy to murder, and conspiracy to commit forgery was established against the suspects.
“After careful consideration of facts available in the case, this office is of the firm view that a prima facie case of conspiring to murder, murder, conspiracy to commit felony to wit; forgery, forgery and making documents without authority contrary to sections 233, 222, 411, 363 and 370 respectively of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, exists against Ojukwu Chidinma Adaora and Adedapo Quadri.
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“Facts available also establish the offence of having possession of things reasonably suspected to have been stolen contrary to section 329 of Criminal Law of Lagos against Egbuchu Chioma,” the advice partly reads,” the documents added.
Ms . Ojukwu, a 21-year-old student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), was arrested on June 23 for killing Mr. Ataga at a short-let apartment in Lekki, Lagos.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered the transfer of the case from Lagos to Abuja.
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Tthe IGP ordered that the case be taken up by the Force Criminal Investigation Department, while the murder prime suspect, 21-year-old Chidinma Ojukwu, would also be brought to Abuja.
“IGP has approved the transfer of Usifo Ataga’s murder case to Abuja. It will be handled by the FCID,” a top source told SaharaReporters.
Also the family of Ataga had alleged that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, might be shielding the killers of their son, with the police’s suspicious handling of the matter.
They had claimed that Chidinma, the prime suspect in Ataga’s murder, was arraigned in a Yaba Magistrate Court without the family being informed.
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The family of the murdered Super TV CEO had hired human rights’ lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, to ensure that justice was served for their slain son.
Ataga’s family in a letter to Ozekhome also accused the police of stifling efforts to ensure those behind the Super TV CEO murder were brought to book.
The family, in the letter, accused the Lagos CP of “attempting to protect the killers of Ataga.”
The Usifo family also decried the alleged comfortable movement of Chidinma from prison to court and from court back to the prison. The family said Chidinma was moved in an Uber ride without handcuffs.
The family alleged that the man who had claimed to be Chidinma’s father and was charged for obstructing police investigation was her (Chidinma) “sugar daddy” and not her biological father.
They had faulted the N1million bail granted to Chidinma’s father and one Babalola Disu, another suspect in the case by the magistrate court.
The family had alleged that Disu was “highly suspected to have carried out the murder”.
Ataga’s family premised its suspicion on information they received to the effect that Disu’s short rental apartment was directly opposite the apartment where Mr Ataga was killed.
The family, however, urged Ozekhome and his chambers to take up the case and see that justice is served through a very professional prosecution of all those involved in the crime.
Ozekhome also confirmed that he is now representing Ataga’s family
In a follow-up statement, Ozekhome said the bereaved family hired him “to protect and defend the interests of the Ataga family and his teeming friends, admirers, kinsmen, and business associates, to ensure that justice is duly served in the matter.”