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Ataga: Witness’ absence stalls Chidinma’s trial




The trial of Chidinma Ojukwu for murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, was on Tuesday stalled as a result of the absence of a prosecution witness.

Ojukwu, an undergraduate, is standing trial before a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

She is also charged with stealing and forgery alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri.

On Monday, Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP), Mrs A. O. Oluwafemi, told the court that the case was for continuation of trial.

She, however, said that the ninth prosecution witness, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, who had not finished his evidence, was absent in court.

According to the DDPP, the witness sent a text message informing her that he was drenched by rain and unable to get transportation to the court.

She apologised for the witness’s absence.

Counsel to the defendants, Mr Onwuka Egwu, Mr Babatunde Busari and Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey, said that the prosecution counsel had earlier informed them of the development.

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They did not object to adjournment of the case.

Justice Yetunde Adesanya consequently adjourned the trial until Oct. 27.

At the last proceedings, on Oct. 18, a recorded video footage of a confessional statement of Ojukwu was played in court.

In the video, Ojukwu, the first defendant in the case, denied killing Ataga.

Ojukwu said that she did not know who killed Ataga.

She said that she went out, came back and saw Ataga on the floor of an apartment in which she stayed with Ataga, and then quickly picked her things and left.

Ojukwu said in the video that she left because she was scared.

However, on Oct. 11, when the video recording was first played, it showed lifeless body of Ataga and showed Ojukwu admitting killing him.

Ojukwu, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos, was arraigned alongside Quadri and Egbuchu on Oct.12, 2021, on a nine-count charge.

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

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The third defendant, Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count of receiving a stolen iPhone 7 belonging to Ataga.

Ojukwu and Quadri are alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him several times with a knife on the neck and chest.

The alleged incident took place at No. 19, Adewale Oshin St., Lekki Phase 1, Lagos State.

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Police rescue two children abandoned by mothers in Lagos





The Lagos State Police Command says operatives of the Rapid Response Squad unit in the state have rescued two children abandoned by their mothers in the Marina area of the state.

This is contained in a statement posted on its official Twitter handle on Friday.

The children were identified as five-year-old Chidara and three-year-old Shonton Chukwu.

The RRS said that the children were rescued on Thursday at about 6:00 p.m.

“Our patrol team at Marina saw two underage boys on the expressway about to be run over by speeding vehicles.

“The boys disclosed that their mother boarded a car and left them,” the command wrote.

The RRS said that the children had been taken to the Adeniji-Adele Police Division to be reunited with their parents.

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How Diezani shared $115m to politicians to compromise 2015 polls – EFCC





The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that its investigation shows that Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister of petroleum resources, allegedly gave politicians $115 million to compromise the 2015 elections.

Abdulrasheed Bawa, the EFCC chairperson, said this at an induction retreat for new resident electoral commissioners (INEC) in Lagos.

Bawa was represented by Adukwu Michael, the chief superintendent of the anti-graft agency.

Diezani was the minister of petroleum resources from 2010 to 2015 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan

Shortly before Jonathan handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, she left the country.

The former minister is alleged to have stolen $2.5 billion from the Nigerian government while she was a minister.

She has, however, denied the allegations, while the EFCC has since commenced a process to extradite her.

The Federal Government had gained forfeiture of Diezani’s properties located in Banana Island Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, including 18 flats and six penthouses.

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The EFCC chairperson’s representative said some of the monies allegedly stolen by Diezani have been recovered by the agency.

He disclosed that the anti-graft agency is focusing on how to discourage vote buying.

“The commission’s focus in election management is discouraging the use of money to influence the outcome of election,” THISDAY quoted him as saying.

“Electoral spending by politicians often leads to voter inducement and vote buying.

“Parties often induce voter with money because they lack proper and realistic policies to convince the electorate to vote them into power.

“Whenever one is induced to sell his vote, he automatically loses moral ground to challenge corrupt tendencies of those elected.

“In the 2015 discreet investigation, the commission was able to uncover a grand plan to compromise the 2015 general election through massive cash payments to politicians.

“$115 million was paid out to politicians by former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madukwe, to compromise the election.

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“Some of the money was recovered while many of the culprits are being prosecuted with few convictions recorded. At the heart of EFCC strategy to curb voter inducement is inter-agency collaboration and information sharing.

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Gunmen attack mosque in Delta, many injured




Some unknown gunmen, early Friday morning attacked a mosque in Ughelli, Delta state, leaving 11 worshippers injured.

According to some residents, the attack took place at about 6.47 am when some Muslim faithful were holding their morning prayers at the Central Mosque, located along Okoroda street in Ughelli.

The resident who gave his name simply as Larry, said many residents were jolted from their sleep by gunshots followed by loud cries from people inside the mosque.

“My name is Larry, I am a commercial vehicle driver here in Ughelli. I live very close to the central mosque, so this morning at about 6.45 am we heard a shooting at the mosque.

“Because of fear, many people in my compound were frightened and we remained inside only peeping through our windows.

“As the shooting lasted, we heard loud cries from some worshippers inside the mosque,” Larry said.
According to him, after the invaders left, many residents thronged to the mosque in their numbers to see what happened.

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He said residents helped to evacuate injured worshippers, adding that those that survived the attack suffered severe injuries.

Larry said that some of the worshippers told residents that three of their fellow worshippers were taken away by the gunmen.

Delta police spokesperson, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the attack but said that only 11 worshippers were injured in the attack.

He, however, did not confirm the abduction of three worshippers.

“I just called the DPO at Ughelli and he confirmed to me that 11 persons were injured in the attack at the mosque.
“However, the police have commenced an investigation into the incident and we will update you as we work to unravel the culprits.

“For now, no arrest has been made but I can assure you that we will get those involved,” Edafe said.

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