Super TV CEO’s Murder: How We Found Late Usifo Ataga’s Body — Police

A police Inspector, Ibrahim Isiaka on Thursday told a Lagos High Court sitting in the Tafawa Balewa Square area how the body of late Usifo Ataga was discovered.

Inspector Isiaka, who is the investigating police officer in the case and attached to the Maroko division in the Lekki area of the state, told Justice Yetunde Adesanya that the body was found when the owner of the apartment, Mrs Nkechi, came to report the incident to the division on June 16, 2021, at 11:30 pm.

He was testifying as to the 6th prosecution witness in the continued trial of a 300 level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, Chidinma Ojukwu, who is suspected to have killed the Chief Executive Officer, of Super TV, Usifo Ataga.

Chidinma Ojukwu and one Adedapo Quadri, both key suspects in the alleged murder said to have been committed in a service apartment in the Lekki area of Lagos State.

The duo were arraigned by the Lagos State Government alongside a third defendant, Chidinma’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu on a 9 count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, forgery, stealing and being possession of the stolen property.

They all pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed hearing of the case today, the police inspector while being led in Evidence-in-Chief, by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Lagos State, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, said that on June 16, 2021, he was on night duty when a case of murder was reported, at the Maroko Police Station at about 11:30pm.

The report was made by one Mrs. Nkechi Mogbo, who is the owner of the service apartment where Ataga was killed.

He testified that Mrs. Mogbo, told the police that her security guard one Abu, had informed her that some people lodged at her facility, that is the short service apartment, situated at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, and when the cleaner went to clean the apartment they discovered a dead body.

The witness also told the court that in Mogbo’s report she stated that the security guard and the cleaner, after calling the occupants of the apartment and there was no response, forced the door open and discovered that a man was lying down in his pool of blood.

Inspector Isiaka said a team of detectives “rushed to the scene of the crime” and called the emergency unit at Yaba hospital after which the corpse was evacuated.

On June 17, in the morning, “due to the seriousness of the case, the (former) commissioner of police ordered that the case be transferred to the homicide section in Panti,” Mr Isiaka said.

Describing the crime scene, he said “things were scattered in the apartment.” And the team lead (chief superintendent of police), picked some items like clothes and travelling bags.

Mr Isiaka said he made a statement and handed the case file to officers at Panti after the deceased was identified at the morgue.

“At the morgue, the corpse was brought out and he was on a stretcher. I discovered that there was blood at the back, he was lying on his back facing up, that was when he was identified as one Michael Ataga,” he told the court.

The Prosecuting counsel, Mrs. Oluwafemi, then sought to tender the witness’ statement as evidence but the second defendant (Adedapo Quadri) counsel, Mr. Babatunde Busari, objected.

Busari described the statement as “an extra-judicial (a statement made outside the court), which was not admissible

He cited some decisions by the Supreme and Appeal courts to back his objection.

However, the court ruled that the witness is an officer and the statement is not an extrajudicial statement.

“The objection is faulty and I rule that the statement is marked exhibit E10,” the judge said.

Following the ruling, counsel for Chidinma cross-examined the witness.

“In your oral testimony before the court, you informed the court that one Nkechi came to your station on June 16, will you be surprised that the same Nkechi made her statement at 8:30 pm?” Onwuka Egwu, a lawyer for Ms Ojukwu asked.

“I may not be surprised with reasons,” the witness responded. He went on to explain that the case was transferred to him around 11:30 pm as an IPO adding that he carried out his investigations subject to the instructions given to him by the DPO and DCO.

Thereafter, Justice Adesanya adjourned the case until February 21, 24, 25 and March 1, 2, and 3, 2022 for the continuation of trial.


About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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