Justice Yetunde Adesanya, of the Lagos High Court in Tafawa Balewa Square, on Tuesday, adjourned the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, the chief prime suspect in the murder of Usifo Ataga, CEO of Super TV, to November 11, 15, 16, 17, 26 and 30.
This comes as the defence counsels complained that the statements contained in the proof of evidence served on them were all illegible and that the audio interviews of the defendants were also inaudible, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
They stated that the defendants had a right to clearer statements and audible video interviews as it would enable them to prepare their defence adequately.
Adesanya, in her ruling, directed the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to provide clearer statements and audible copies of the interviews to all the defence counsels before the end of the day.
Earlier, A.O. Adeyemi had entered an appearance for the prosecution from the DPP, while Onwuka Egbu, Babatunde Busari and A.O. Ogunsanya had appeared for the first to third defendants respectively.
Adeyemi told the court that she had two witnesses in court and was ready to begin the trial, but Egbu informed the court that he had a pending application before the court that was ripe for hearing.
He said that in his application, he was praying for more legible statements, saying the ones contained in the proof of evidence the prosecution served him were illegible.
Counsel to the second defendant, Busari, aligned with the submission of the first defence counsel and further complained that the video recordings of the interviews were not served on him.
On his part, counsel to the third defendant, Ogunsanya, from the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), told the court that the video interviews of the defendants that were served on him were not audible.
He aligned with previous submissions that the statements he was served were also not clear.
The defence counsels submitted that they needed all these documents to enable them to prepare for the trial adequately.
Adeyemi told the court that she would send soft copies of all the proof of evidence to each defence counsels’ email before the end of the day.
Recall that on October 12, the three defendants were arraigned on a nine-count charge preferred against them by the Lagos State Government. They had pleaded non-guilty to the crime.
The first two defendants, Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri are facing the first eight counts on the charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
The third defendant, who is the first defendant’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count charge of stealing iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.
In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have conspired amongst themselves and murdered Ataga.
Ataga was found dead with multiple stab wounds on June 16 at a service apartment on Adebowale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase I where he had checked in with his lover, Ojukwu.
Ojukwu, who was consequently arrested on June 23 over the murder of Usifo Ataga in a service apartment, said she was able to kill him because he was weak.
She confessed to stabbing Usifo with a knife under the influence of drugs and withdrawing N380,000 from the victim’s account with his ATM card.
She, however, recanted later in a video, saying she acted in self-defence.
Usifo, 50, was buried on July 30.
The duo of Chidinma and Quadri, was also accused of committing forgery by procuring and making bank account statements purported to have been made by the deceased.
They were also alleged to have forged United Bank of Africa account statement of one Mary from June 1, 2021, an international passport and a driver’s license in Chidinma’s name.