By Kingsley Omonobi
The Yaba Magistrate Court, Lagos, sitting over the case involving the Nigerian Police Force, Chidinma Ojukwu and one other person namely Adedepo Quadri, presided over by Ms. A O Olatunbosun has discharged four suspects in the murder case of Osifo Ataga.
The court ordered that another suspect Ojukwu Onoh be made to face trial for being in possession of Ataga’s property which were with the late Ataga before he was killed.
Document cited by Vanguard late on Monday night showed thus:
(CHARGE NO. A/113/2021) INVOLVING COP V. 1.OJUKWU CHIDINMA AND 2. ADEDEPO QUADRI AT THE MAGISTRATE’S COURT (BEFORE MS. A.O. OLATUNBOSUN CM), YABA, LAGOS TODAY, 6TH SEPTEMBER 2021.
The Court sat at 9am. The Defendants (Chidinma & Adedapo Quadri) were in court.
Cyril Ejiofor for the Prosecution. O. Egwu with L. Okorie for the 1st Defendant. Babatunde Bisari for the 2nd Defendant.
Ejieke Onuoha and A.S. Akpe held watching brief on behalf of Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Head of Mike Ozekhome’s chambers, representing the Ataga family.
The Magistrate, Mrs Olarunbosun, said that she had received the DPP’s advice and would implement it.
The DPP.s advice is dated 20th August, 2021. Based on the DPP’s advice, she ordered that the Defendants be tried in the High Court as they both have a case to answer in the gruesome murder of Mr. Usifo Ataga.
The matter has been adjourned to the 29th September, 2021, for report of the filing of information at the High Court.
ON THE SISTER CASE:
On the sister case of CONSPIRACY TO MURDER brought against another set of Defendants , namely:
1. MR.ONOH OJUKWU,1ST DEFENDANT;
2. MR. BABALOLA DISU,2ND DEFENDANT;
3.MS CHIOMA EGBUCH, 3RD DEFENDANT;
4. MR. ABAYOMI OLUTAYO, 4TH DEFENDANT; AND
5. MR. IFEOLUWA OLOWU,5TH DEFENDANT,
for the same murder of late Mr. Ataga, the DPP’s advice is that MR ONOH OJUKWU, the 1st Defendant is to face trial for being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be stolen items from Ataga’s murder, while the 3rd Defendant, CHIOMA EGBUCHU is to continue her trial at the High Court for conspiracy to murder.
CHIDINMA OJUKWU, the PRIME SUSPECT was (is) not a Defendant in this second charge.
The other Defendants, namely, BABALOLA DISU, 2ND DEFENDANT; MR. ABAYOMI OLUTAYO, 4TH DEFENDANT; AND MR. IFEOLUWA OLOWU, 5TH DEFENDANT, were subsequently discharged from the case and their names struck out as advised by the DPP, because, according to the DPP, evidence adduced by prosecution was not sufficient to link them with the offence alleged against them.
The counsel for the Defendants informed the Court that the police were strategically placed in the court premises to re-arrest the Defendants based on the advice of the I.G.P.
They urged the court to restrain the Police from further re-arresting them.
The Prosecutor urged the court to jettison the application of the counsel for the Defendants, and submitted that if the Defendants’ rights are violated, they should have recourse to the law.
The Magistrate ruled that counsel for the Defendants were being speculative and that Courts do not act on speculations.
The matter was adjourned to 29th September, 2021.