15 Nov Chidinma’s Murder Trial Hits Pause Due to Strike
By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
The trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, a University of Lagos undergraduate and alleged murder suspect in the case of Super TV CEO Usifo Ataga, faced a setback on Tuesday due to her absence in court. Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student, is facing nine counts of murder, theft, and forgery alongside her sister Chioma Egbuchu and Adedapo Quadri.
During Tuesday’s trial, only Egbuchu, the third defendant, was present as Ojukwu and Quadri were not brought from the correctional facility due to the ongoing strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya revealed that correctional facility officials cited security concerns as the reason for not bringing the inmates to court during the strike. Counsel for the first defendant, Onwuka Egwu, suggested vacating the date due to the strike, while the second defendant’s counsel, Babatunde Busari, emphasized the need for a clear date to ensure substantive justice.
Justice Adesanya, considering the circumstances, adjourned the case to December 5 and December 7, 2023. The defense and prosecution discussed the number of witnesses yet to testify, with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, stating there were two more witnesses apart from the ongoing testimony of the ninth prosecution witness, DSP Olusegun Bamidele.
Bamidele, during the last proceeding in June, had described examining Ataga’s body at the mortuary, noting injuries on the body and signs of stabbing. The trial continues with a focus on maintaining procedural integrity despite external challenges.