Nigeria: Witness Tells Court How Chidinma Sold Late Ataga's Apple Laptop for N495,000

26 November 2021

A prosecution witness, Mr. Ifeoluwa Oluwo, yesterday told a Lagos High Court, sitting at Tafa Balewa Square, how Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged murder suspect of Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga, sold an Apple MacBook Laptop, of the deceased to him.

Oluwo said he bought the Laptop from the Chidinma (first defendant)on June 18, 2021, for the sum of N495,000, after negotiations, just two days after the body of Ataga was found at the short service apartment in Lekki.

Oluwo stated this while testifying in the ongoing trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri.

The witness told the court that it was after he bought the Laptop that he saw Chidinma on social media, regarding a murder case connected to her.

The witness who said he deals in the sales of phones, laptops, and accessories at Computer Village, and has been in the business for five years,

Oluwo, who is the third prosecution witness (PW3), was led in evidence in chief by the Lagos State prosecuting counsel, Mr. Yusuf Sule.

The witness, who testified before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, also identified the Chidinma as a customer. He told the court that Chidinma made a purchase of a phone on April 30, 2021, and sold a laptop to him on June 18, 2021.

The witness told the court that as at the time the first defendant walked into his office, he was not around but that he was called in later for the final inspection of the Laptop.

Oluwo said: "I asked her (first defendant) to unlock the Laptop and she did, so I conducted my internal observation which included speed performance, the circle count of the battery, and general functionality.

"After that, I proceeded to ask questions do you have a receipt for this Laptop, she stated that it was a gift from her boyfriend and that she has two laptops and needed to sell one to pay for some bills.

"I conducted a check on Apple website for my market evaluation, I confirmed the value of the Laptop, from Apple website, found my mark and market valuation, was $1000 to $1,200, the exchange rate of dollars as at that time was N400 to N450.

"She wanted to sell for N600, 000, we were able to negotiate for N495,000, which I initiated payment from my UBA account to her Sterling bank account", he said.

"After the sale of the Laptop, we saw her face on social media, regarding a murder case connected to her, the name was very familiar to the customer we had business with earlier, so I ensured that all her documents were kept handy.

"A few days later, the Police from State Criminal Investigation Department SCID Panti, invited my Manager, Olutayo Abayomi, a call was made to me by someone else in the office, that he has been invited to the police station so I proceeded to the station to find out why.

"When I got to the Police Station, I discovered that it was in connection to the Laptop, we bought from Chidinma on June 18, 2021, we both made a statement detailing how we came about the Laptop and how we made the purchase.

"We gave the police the documents of the former owner, which included a copy of her voter's card, a copy of our form, all receipts which already has her information, regarding the Laptop," the witness said.

During cross-examination by the first defendant's counsel, Mr. Onwuka Egwu, asked if he was shown any documents, receipts, or proof of ownership to show that the laptop was not for the first defendant, at Panti, he said no.

Justice Adesanya, adjourned the case to November, 29, for the continuation of trial.

The first and second defendants were alleged to have conspired and murdered Ataga on June 15, 2021, by stabbing him severally with a knife in the neck and chest.

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