Abiodun OBA

 

Laughter was “killed” on Tuesday in court for fear of the wrath of the court, when one of the defendants in the trial over the alleged murder of Usifo Ataga “unconsciously” pleaded guilty.

The duo of Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri, who are the two key suspects in the murder of Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, were arraigned by Lagos State government before a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square.

The two defendants are facing an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing preferred against them by the Lagos State government.

The first defendant’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu, is facing the 9th count charge of stealing iPhone 7, belonging to late Ataga.

However, it was a mildrama when the second defendant, Adedapo Quadri, pleaded guilty to the first count charge.

The Court Registrar paused. The lawyers were shocked and was quickly corrected by two counsel to plead not guilty to the charge: “Say ‘not guilty’” they whispered.

Those in court had to “swallow” their laughter for fear of court purnishment.

He then took a not-guilty plea.

Proceedings then continued, with Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution DPP, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, telling the court that the defendants conspired among themselves and allegedly murdered Ataga on June 15.

She said that the incident took place at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

Eventually, Justice Adesanya returned the confident-looking Chidinma and  Adedapo Quadri to prison custody, allowed the third defendant to continue on the bail granted her and adjourned till November 9 and 11 for trial. 

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