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Chidinma transferred N5m from Ataga’s account – Witness tells court

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CHIDINMA, ATAGA

 

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square has heard how Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect in the murder of Usifo Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, transferred the sum of N5m on June 15, 2021, from Usifo Ataga’s account to another account.

The ninth prosecution witness, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, told the court while testifying in the ongoing trial of Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication undergraduate of the University of Lagos, who allegedly murdered Ataga.

The security guard of the short-let service apartment, Abubakar Mohammed, where Ataga was murdered had during his evidence before the court on November 16, 2021, said that Chidinma left the apartment on Tuesday night which was June 15, 2021 and never came back.

He had also told the court that it was on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that the dead body of Ataga was discovered.

Ojukwu is standing trial before Justice Yetunde Adesanya for the alleged murder of Ataga.

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

At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, told the court that the matter was for continuation of trial.

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Bamidele, who had not finished giving evidence, was hauled into the witness box.

Oluwafemi asked for exhibit P11, which is the Access Bank statement of Ataga and asked the witness to tell the court why he had the bank statement of the deceased.

Bamidele said on June 15, the first defendant used the deceased’s phone to transfer N5m from his account to another bank.

“On June 16, 2021, four transactions of N20,000 was made from the deceased’s account on June 17, another withdrawal of N20,000 was made five times and the remarks was transfer between customers.

“On same June 16, N50,000 was transferred to Nkech Mogbo, another N11,200 was also transferred to Caprical Capital. On the same June 16, another N50,000 was transferred from Ataga’s account to Mogbo and another N93,000 transferred from Ataga’s GTBank account to his Access Bank account.

“A transfer of N110,000.75 kobo was debited from the deceased’s account on June 18, 2021.

“On June 19, 2021, a transfer of N20,000 was made four times; on that same day, another transfer of N20,000 was made five times and it was through the USSD code,” Bamidele said.

READ  Ataga Usifo: Chidinma left apartment night before corpse was discovered — Witness

The witness also explained to the court how they wrote GTB to get Ataga’s statement of account.

He said on June 13, 2021, there was an internet transfer of N10,000 to Chidinma; another N105,000 was also transferred to Chidinma on same June 13, for the payment of the short service let, paid to Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the apartment.

“On that same June 13, there was a N13,000 purchase transaction at Ango Villa, 14,200, transaction for purchase at Dwine Bar global, on the same June 13, there was a transfer of N20,399.

“On June 14, 2021, there was N21,000 transfer from Ataga’s account to Chidinma’s account and another transfer of N15,000 paid to Chidinma, there was a N5000 transaction that was made on June 14 and paid to Adiba Online choppy,” he said.

When the prosecution sought to admit the written statements of the defendants, Chidinma’s counsel, Onwuka Egwu, objected to the admissibility of the document.

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He said she didn’t make the statements voluntarily that the statements were obtained by oppression, inducement, intimidation and under duress and urged the court to test the veracity of the voluntariness of the statements.

The second defendant’s counsel, Babatunde Busari, did not object, but said the third defendant’s counsel, Miss M. A. Abia-Bassey, did not also object.

However, the prosecutor prayed the court to conduct trial within trial for Chidinma.

Consequently, Justice Adesanya adjourned the case to November 8 for trial within trial.

Ojukwu was arraigned alongside two others – Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu – on October, 12, 2021, on a nine-count over alleged murder of Ataga, 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.

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

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

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Suspected herdsmen invade Ondo communities, kill 6 persons

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No fewer than six persons have been reportedly killed by some yet-to-be-identified gunmen in the last two weeks in the Arimogija and Molege axis of Ose Local Government Area of Ondo state.

The victims, according to villagers, are farmers, traders and passengers.

Residents of the communities are fleeing their homes over further attacks from the gunmen, whom many suspect are armed herdsmen.

A community leader, Owolafe Folorunsho, said some gunmen attacked the communities on February 2. The attack, he claimed began after farmers tried to repel the continued wanton destruction of their crops by the herdsmen.

He said: “The herders have continued to invade our farmlands at night. They harvest our crops to feed their Ccws, and on many occasions, they will come during the day, force us to uproot the cassava by ourselves at gunpoint. They would command us to cut them into pieces to feed their cows.

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“In order not to take the laws into our hands, we reported the problem of economic sabotage to the appropriate authority who took prompt action to chase them out of the farms. But to our surprise, herdsmen came back and attacked us with AK-47, Pump Action, axes and cutlasses. They killed our people at night.”

According to him, the herdsmen laid ambush in a broad daylight and attacked some traders coming from Akure, during they killed and robbed the people , after which they set their vehicle ablaze.

Confirming the sad incident, the Onimoru of Imoru, Oba Rotimi Obamuwagun, lamented the atrocities of the herdsmen in the area. He expressed sadness about the criminal activities of the herdsmen in his domain.

The monarch’s claims were also corroborated by the Odibiado of Ijagba, Oba Andrew Ikioya Ilevare, who added that the bandits have now resulted to harvesting plantains and bring them to market to sell.

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The royal fathers, who queried why the Federal Government should allow herdsmen carry AK-47 rifles to terrorize innocent people, praised the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for the establishment of the Southwest Security Network, popularly known as Amotekun.

The Chairman of the local government, Prince Adekunle Dennis, who visited the troubled communities, expressed government’s concern over the security situation in Ose LGA, promising that something will be done urgently to checkmate the excesses of the herdsmen.

He said the council is meeting with the relevant authorities and stakeholders with the aim of redesigning the security architecture of all the flashpoints to nip the security challenges in the bud.

While calling on the community leaders and youth organizations to be more security conscious, the council boss charged them to improve on intelligence gathering that will enable them give give correct and useful information to the security agencies.

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Kwara commissioner dies in auto crash

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Mrs Dorcas Afeniforo, the Commissioner II at the Kwara State Civil Service Commission, , is dead.

Mrs Afeniforo, a former commissioner for Women Affairs and top loyalist of the governor, died in an auto crash on Saturday while returning from a trip to Lagos.

The state governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, on Sunday, described the death of the late women development advocate as shocking and painful.

“The development is shocking and painful. It is a huge loss to the progressive family in the state. Mrs Afeniforo will always be remembered for her fine legacies as a foremost women development advocate and her contributions to the development of the state,” the governor said in a statement.

“We commiserate with the family of Mrs Afeniforo and with the good people of Baruten and Kwara north whom she represented at the CSC until her death. We pray to God to grant comfort to the family she left behind,” he added.

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Police arrest 10 Yoruba Nation agitators, dismantle camp in Lagos

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Men of the Lagos Police Command, on Sunday, arrested 10 suspected Yoruba Nation agitators over unlawful assembly.

The police also dismantled a protest camp set up by the agitators at Alausa in Ikeja ahead of the planned nationwide anti-Buhari disturbance, billed to commence February 6.

A flier with notice of the protest surfaced on the social media calling on all Nigerians against the lingering cash crunch and fuel scarcity to join the “Buhari Must Go” protest in all major cities.

Although unsigned, the information was greeted by mixed reactions, with those against it accusing the government of plans to stop the general elections billed to hold in two weeks.

It was gathered that the agitators had stormed Alausa with cooking wares, tents, generators, bread and other food items in order to set up their base there.

According to police sources, there were intelligence reports that the group planned to use the location as their base from where they would lunch massive protest and ground activities in the state.

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But security operatives were swiftly deployed and the camp was dismantled.

Confirming the incident, spokesman for the command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin said that 10 of the suspects were arrested and we’re currently being interrogated.

He said the command would not condone any form of lawlessness anywhere in the state.

Warning against any form of violence, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said it was clear that miscreants with criminal agenda were those behind the looting and other crimes being committed ij the guise of protest against fuel and naira scarcity.

He said: “We condemn the violent protests we have recorded so far. It’s crystal clear that these were orchestrated by hoodlums who had their targets of robbing banks’ ATM, looting shopping malls, shops, stealing from persons, etc, not peaceful protest as claimed.

“How does protest against fuel and naira scarcity affect innocent drivers, sellers, market women, and even the police, who were victims of attacks from the so-called “peaceful” protesters? In ibadan, they went to set ablaze a station, for what?

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“Anyway, we will not allow any lawlessness or breakdown of law and order in any part of the country. No way. So, we want to urge well-meaning Nigerians to be patient, law abiding, and maintain decorum in whatever they do so that the long arm of the won’t catch them. Thanks.”

 

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