By Nkasi Kolie

The Investigative Police Officer (IPO), Mr. Ibrahim Isiaka, in  the murder of Super TV Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Usifo Ataga has told the Lagos High Court, sitting at Tafa Balewa Square (TBS), the situation and position he and members of his team found the deceased’s body.

He said he and his team arriving at scene of the incident, found the deceased’s body, in the pool of his blood and evacuated it.

The IPO revealed this while testifying in the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, UNILAG and two others who are standing trial over Ataga’s murder.

The three defendants were arraigned on October 12 on a nine-count charge preferred against them by Lagos State Government.

Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.

The third defendant, Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count of stealing iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.

In his testimony, Isiaka said that when the police got the information of the incident at the Maroko Police Station at Lekki, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO)and the Divisional Crime Officer,(DCO), rushed down to the scene of crime and the DPO, immediately called emergency at Yaba General hospital, to come and evacuate the corpse.

The witness who was led in evidence in chief, by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs A. O. Oluwafemi, said that on June 16, 2021, he was on night duty when a case of murder was reported, at the Maroko Police Station.

Isiaka, who was the sixth prosecution witness,  gave evidence before Justice.

Yetunde Adesanya, said that, on June 16, 2021, at about 11:30pm, one Mrs Nkechi Mogbo, (the owner of the service apartment where Ataga was murdered), came to make a report of murder case.

He said that Mrs Nkechi Mogbo, told the police that her security guard one Abu, had informed her that some people lodged at

her facility, (the short service apartment), at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, and when the cleaner went to clean the apartment they discovered a dead body.

The witness also told the court that in Mogbo’s report she stated that the security guard and the cleaner, after calling the occupants of the apartment and there was no response, they forced the door open and discovered that a man was lying down in a pool of his blood.

Isiaka who said he has been in the Police Force, for 28 years, said that based on the nature of the case, on June 17, 2021, the DPO, said the case should be immediately transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti.

According to the witness, after the case file was transferred to Panti, a team of detectives from the Homicide Section of Panti, asked him to follow them to the scene of crime, adding that when they got there, the apartment door was opened and they discovered that things were scattered in the apartment.

He said “The team headed by chief superintendent of police, from Panti, found  some items from the traveling bag of the deceased at the apartment and picked them, for investigation.

“I went back to Panti and from Panti, we went back to Yaba general hospital, for the identification of the corpse, when I got back to Panti, I made a statement and handed over. After I made the statement and handed over the case file to Panti and they continued from there.”

He testified that when he visited the morgue, the corpse was brought out in a stretcher.

” I discovered that there was blood on his back, the deceased was lying down facing up, that was when he was identified as one Michael Ataga,” he said.

The Prosecuting counsel, Mrs A. O. Oluwafemi, however, sought to tender the witness’ statement as evidence but the second defendant counsel, Mr Babatunde Busari, objected.

Busari, said that the statement was an extrajudicial statement (a statement made outside the court), therefore not admissible.

He cited some Supreme Court and Appeal court decisions to back his objection.

However the other defendants counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu for Chidinma and Mr O. A. Ogunsanya for Quadri,  did not object to the tendering of the statement. Justice Yetunde Adesanya, in a short ruling, said the objection failed and overruled it.

After the ruling, counsel for Chidinma, cross examined the witness.

The witness explained that the case was assigned to him by the charge room officer, adding that he carried out his investigations subject to the instructions given to him by the DPO and DCO.

After the cross examination, Justice Adesanya, adjourned the case until February 21, for continuation of trial.

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