NLC Strike Derails Chidinma Ojukwu’s Murder Trial of Super TV CEO
In the latest developments pertaining to the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student at the University of Lagos and the alleged perpetrator of the murder of Usifo Ataga, CEO of Super TV, proceedings on Tuesday were impeded by the conspicuous absence of the defendant.
Ojukwu, along with her sister Chioma Egbuchu and Adedapo Quadri, faces charges of murder, theft, and forgery before the Lagos State High Court at Tafawa Balewa Square.
During the scheduled hearing, Egbuchu, the third defendant, was the sole participant present, as Ojukwu and Quadri were notably absent, presumably detained in a correctional facility.
The non-attendance of inmates, including the accused, was attributed to the ongoing industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress. Justice Yetunde Adesanya relayed information from correctional facility officials, citing security concerns as the reason for not bringing inmates to court during the strike.
In response, Mr. Onwuka Egwu, counsel for the first defendant, proposed the vacation of the upcoming trial date due to the strike, emphasizing the need for a new, clearly defined date.
Mr. Babatunde Busari, counsel for the second defendant, expressed concerns about the protracted nature of the trial, urging the court to expedite proceedings. He suggested setting a specific date to ensure substantive justice in the matter.
Additionally, he pressed the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, for information on the remaining prosecution witnesses. Oluwafemi confirmed that, aside from the ongoing testimony of DSP Olusegun Bamidele, the ninth prosecution witness, there were two more witnesses yet to testify.
In light of the circumstances, Justice Adesanya decided to vacate the trial date scheduled for the next day to preempt any disruption caused by the ongoing strike. The case was adjourned until December 5 and December 7, 2023, for the continuation of the trial.
DSP Bamidele, the ninth prosecution witness, previously detailed his examination of Ataga’s body at the mortuary during the last court session in June. His testimony included observations of injuries on the body, particularly in the neck and head regions, indicative of a stabbing incident.
Ojukwu and her co-accused were originally arraigned on October 12, 2021, by the Lagos State Government.