A prosecution witness identified as Olusegun Bamidele (DSP) has testified on how the police tracked down Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged killer of Usifo Ataga, the late Super TV boss.
According to NAN, Bamidele appeared before a Lagos high court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square on Monday.
The DSP is the ninth prosecution witness in the trial of Chidinma who is charged with the murder of Ataga.
Chidinma is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside Chioma Egbuchu, her sister, and one Adedapo Quadri.
They all pleaded not guilty.
Bamidele said the intelligence and tactical unit of the State Criminal Investigating Department (SCID) Yaba, tracked Chidinma down at No. 57, Akinwunmi St., Alagomeji, Yaba.
Bamidele, who serves in the homicide section of the SCID, gave evidence at the resumed trial of Chidinma.
He was led in evidence by A. O. Oluwafemi, Lagos state director for public prosecutions.
The DSP narrated how the case was allegedly transferred from the Maroko police station to his department at the SCID.
He said the case was transferred and assigned to his team on June 17, 2021, alongside Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the apartment where the alleged murder occurred.
The witness said that the investigating police officer (IPO) from the Maroko police station told him how a complaint about a body with a mark of violence was brought to the station.
Bamidele said that the IPO also informed him that he took pictures and made video recordings which were transferred into his Infinix Hot 4.
The witness testified that after receiving the complaint from the IPO, he visited the scene of the alleged crime alongside the IPO and Mogbo.
“We met the security guard who took us into the apartment, and I observed that there were bloodstains on the floor, the bed was ruffled with bloodstains on the pillow and duvet,” Bamidele said.
“The IPO also took me to Yaba General Hospital mortuary to see the body, and I observed that there were stab wounds on the body, including injury on his head and knees.
“I also saw that the two wrists had marks indicating that they were tied.”
The witness said he interacted with Mogbo who informed him that, on June 13, a phone call came from one Jewel, who requested a room at her short-service apartment.
He also said the security guard at the apartment told him how the body of the deceased was discovered at the apartment where the said Jewel lodged with the deceased.
Bamidele disclosed that the security guard at the apartment gave him a phone number which the said Jewel used in calling him while at the apartment.
“After getting the information from the security guard, we engaged a tracking team,” he said.
“The trackers with the intelligent and tactical unit, tracked one Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu, down at No. 57, Akinwunmi St., Alagomeji Yaba.”
The witness also told the court that the statements of the owner of the apartment and the security were all taken and he identified the statements which were already in court as exhibits.
He said the pictures and videos on his phone were downloaded into a disc by an information technology expert in his office.
At this point, the prosecution counsel prayed for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to bring the video for viewing and to tender it in evidence.
Earlier, Toafeek Lawal, an account officer to the deceased, gave evidence as the eighth prosecution witness.
He gave evidence on the naira account statements of the deceased, starting from April 1, 2021, to August 31, 2021.
He said there were, however, no transactions on the account from June 19, 2021, to August 31, 2021.
Lawal disclosed that immediately after the bank learned of the death of Ataga, it placed a “post no debit” to stop any debit from being effected on the account.
He said some money was transferred from Ataga’s account on June 16, and the transaction was done through the USSD platform to his other account.
Lawal also said that, on June 17, money was transferred to Ataga’s account but on June 18, money was transferred from Ataga’s account to a different account.
He said the deceased operated two accounts with the bank which were a naira account and a domiciliary account.
The witness was cross-examined by Onwuka Egwu, Chidinma’s counsel.
Egwu asked the witness to confirm that in a USSD mode of transfer, the password would be exclusive to the owner of the account.
The witness answered that the password was meant to be exclusive unless the owner decided otherwise.
Egwu also asked the witness to confirm how many payments were made to the first defendant during the period the statement covered.
The witness answered that it was only once. Yetunde Adesanya, the judge, adjourned the case until May 10 for the continuation of the trial.
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