The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Lagos State, on Monday said it charge Chidinma Ojukwu and one other with the murder of the late Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Michael Ataga.
This was revealed by the police prosecutor, Cyril Ajifor, when the defendants appeared before the magistrate court in Yaba.
Police on June 23, arrested Ms Ojukwu, a 21-year-old student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), for allegedly killing Mr Usifo at a short-let apartment in Lekki.
Earlier on August 9, police brought the suspect and one Adedapo Quadri, before the Chief Magistrate at Yaba to seek their remand in custody. The request was granted by the magistrate, who ordered the duo to be remanded for 30 days at the first instance to give police room to continue with the investigation into the murder case and also to get DPP’s advice on the matter.
When the police returned to the magistrate on Monday, Mr Ajifor told the court that the DPP had given legal advice on the matter. He said that the DPP recommended that the suspects be tried for murder. According to him, the advice implies that the suspects would be arraigned at the high court which has jurisdiction over such matters.
Those recommended to be charged are Ms Ojukwu; her elder sister, Chioma Egbuchu; and Mr Quadri.
A copy of the DPP advice dated August 20 read: “After careful consideration of facts available in the case, this office is of the firm view that a prima facie case of conspiring to murder, murder, conspiracy to commit felony to wit; forgery, forgery and making documents without authority contrary to sections 233, 222, 411, 363 and 370 respectively of the Criminal Law of Lagos State exists against Ojukwu Chindinma Adaora and Adedapo Quadri.
“Facts available also establish the offence of having possession of thing reasonably suspected to have been stolen contrary to section 329 of Criminal Law of Lagos against Egbuchu Chioma.”
The magistrate, meanwhile, has discharged four of the five people police arraigned before it for allegedly hindering justice in the matter. The five persons are Chidinma’s adopted father, Onoh Ojukwu, 57; Babalola Disu, 42; Jessica Egbuchu Chioma, 28; Abayomi Olutayo, 23; and Ifeoluwa Olowu, 23.
All of them were discharged except for Ms Egbuchu, who DPP advised against her discharge.
Recall that she was found in the possession of the deceased’s iPhone 7.
The matter was later adjourned by the magistrate till September 29 for a mention, and to allow the DPP to provide information regarding the status of the case at the high court.