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Ataga: Chidinma made her statement herself – witness

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A prosecution witness, ASP Olufunke Madeyinlo, on Tuesday testified that Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged murder suspect of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, wrote her statement voluntarily.

Madeyinlo made the statement while testifying as the second prosecution witness in the trial within trial to ascertain whether Ojukwu was coaxed or induced to make a statement that she killed Ataga by herself.

Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication undergraduate of the University of Lagos, is standing trial for the alleged murder of Ataga.

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

It was reported that Ojukwu’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu, had objected to the admissibility of the defendant’s statement.

He said that the defendant did not make the statements voluntarily which made the court to go into trial within trial to ascertain the voluntariness of the defendant’s statement.

At the resumed hearing, the Deputy Director of Prosecution, Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, called her second witness for the continuation of trial within trial.

However, the first defendant’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu, announced his appearance, while the second defendant’s counsel, Mr Babatunde Busari, as well as the third defendant’s counsel, Mrs F.O. Ilesanmi, also announced their appearance.

Madeyinlo who had worked for 33 years in the police, said that on June 24, 2021, the Officer in Charge of the homicide session, Panti Yaba, Razak Oseni, brought the defendant to her office to write her statement.

She said that she gave the first defendant a statement form and a pen.

According to the witness, DCP Adegoke Bayoade, sent for Oseni, who left the first defendant in her office.

Madeyinlo said that about 40 minutes later, Oseni came back to her office and took Ojukwu’s written statement.

She said, “Oseni collected the statement and went away with the first defendant.

“Nothing happened and nobody forced her to write the statement. She wrote the statement herself.”

During cross-examination by Ojukwu’s counsel, the witness said that she shared her office with three other officers, ASP Gbolahon Jemiyo, ASP Gbola Alabi, and Insp. Kolawole Lukman.

When asked if it was after Jemiyo had assaulted the first defendant that her statement was taken, the witness said that she was in the office with only Alabi when the defendant wrote her statement.

Asked if she interacted with Ojukwu while she was writing her statement, Madeyinlo answered in the affirmative.

“I did not ask her any questions; she wrote her statement herself. The only question I asked her was if she was satisfied with the statement she wrote.

“She answered yes, then I asked her to sign it,” the witness said.

Egwu asked the witness if she gave a 10-year-old girl wrapper to cover herself in the night, on June 23 and 24, 2021.

The witness said that she could not remember because the incident happened a long time ago.

Asked if she knew what happened to the statement the first defendant made on June 24, 2021, she said no.

However, Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case until Nov. 17, for the first defendant to testify in the trial within trial.

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Chinyere Omeire

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