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Court Hears Audio Conversation Between Murder Suspect, Chidinma, Security Guard On Super TV CEO, Ataga’s Murder

October 5, 2022

Ojukwu is standing trial for alleged murder, stealing, and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri for alleged stealing, forgery and murder of Ataga.


The Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos Island on Tuesday listened to the audio recording of a phone conversation between Chidinma Ojukwu and a security guard Abubakar Mohammed at the rented short-let service apartment where Michael Usifo Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV was allegedly murdered.

Ojukwu is standing trial for alleged murder, stealing, and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri for alleged stealing, forgery and murder of Ataga.

At the resumed hearing, the Lagos State Deputy Director for Public Prosecutions (DDPP), Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, asked the witness, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Olusegun Bamidele, to confirm his testimony of May 9, where he told the court about the security guard’s interaction and conversation with the first defendant.

Bamidele, the ninth prosecution witness who had in his evidence, told the court that the security guard transferred the audio conversation to his Hot 4 Infinix smart phone, testified that the audio was attached to their office desktop and with the help of one of his senior colleagues, who is very conversant with information communication technology (ICT), it was burned into a Compact Disc.

The witness identified the CD and also told the court that he attached a certificate of compliance to the CD. The prosecution counsel sought to tender the CD in evidence, but the first defendant’s counsel, Onwuka Egwu, objected to the tendering of the CD, on grounds that Bamidele (PW9) was not the maker of the CD.

Egwu argued that the alleged maker of the CD is Mohammed (PW2), and cited Section 83 1 (a) (ii), 2011 of the Evidence Act to buttress his argument, noting that the prosecution had not laid proper foundation to tender the document through Bamidele.

Counsel to the second defendant (Quadri), Mr. Babatunde Busari, said he had no objection as the document does not relate to the second defendant, but the counsel to the third defendant (Egbuchu), C. J. Jiakponna aligned himself with the first defendant’s counsel.

Jiakponna submitted that due process must be followed, noting that the prosecution did not lay the foundation as to the author of document. He argued that the author ought to appear before the court if it would not amount to hearsay.

The prosecution counsel submitted that, “it is trite law that whatever the investigating police officer gathered as evidence is a direct evidence and not hearsay” adding that admissibility was based on relevance.

The trial judge in a bench ruling dismissed the defendants’ objection and admitted the document. The court stressed that on June 16, 2021, PW2, gave evidence of how he asked the first defendant some questions and she answered.

“The maker of the audio recording has already been called to this court and there is no requirement of the presentation of the gadget, the evidence sought to be tendered stays and the objection is misconceived and is hereby dismissed, I so hold,” she ruled.

The audio CD was marked as exhibit PW22(A) and the certificate of compliance marked as exhibit PW23(B).

The trial Justice Adesanya subsequently adjourned the case to October, 6, 2022, for continuation of trial. Recall that the defendants were arraigned on October, 12, 2021, on a nine-count charge preferred against them by Lagos State Government.

Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.