Ataga: Chidinma Narrates How She Was Forced To Sign Prepared Statements

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The main suspect in the murder of the late Super TV CEO, Usifo Ataga, Chidinma Ojukwu, has claimed that she was slapped by the police and coerced into signing statements that were written by them.

Chidinma testified before Justice Yetunde Adesanya on Thursday in the Tafawa Balewa Square location of the Lagos State High Court, claiming that police officers, including Assistant Superintendent of Police Olusegun Bamidele and Olufunke Madeyinlo, forced her to sign documents against her will.

She claims that after deleting the statement she had written, Bamidele instructed her to tell the State Commissioner of Police about the one he had written.

Chidinma disclosed that on June 23, 2021, she was informed by her 10-year-old sister that some men had come to their house looking for her.

“Immediately, my sister called my Dad (her foster father, Onoh Ojukwu), who came out and asked who the men were.

“They said they were policemen from (SCID), Panti, and that they came to arrest me and to search the house or that I should go in and bring the (Ataga’s) phone.

“I said I don’t know where the phone and car is and one of the policemen slapped me.

“My dad said you cannot slap my daughter in my house and the policemen tried to enter the room from the passage.”

While she was being whisked away, Chidinma told her foster father to notify their family lawyer and that when they got to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti, she was taken to the office of a policeman, Razak Oseni, who, alongside other policemen, quizzed her.

“We went back to my house and then returned to the DCP’s office and he started questioning me.

“I told him I don’t know anything about the death of Mr Ataga, and that was when they made the video that was played in court.

“The DCP said I should make my statement then the IPO, Bamidele, took me to the interrogating room with Mr Chris, and gave me a blank statement form and asked me to write what happened.

“I started writing, then he (Bamidele) took my left hand and handcuffed it to the chair. I wrote what I said at the DCP’s office.

“While writing the statement, Bamidele read through it and said it was not what happened.”

The suspect said she told Bamidele that she was writing what transpired and asked him to confirm that her father had called the family lawyer.

“He (Bamidele) said my (foster) dad cannot make a call as he was in custody.

“That was when I started writing the statement. When he said the statement I wrote was not what happened, and I told him it was what happened, I received two slaps from Mr Jemiyo.

“Jemiyo and Chris sat at the back and Bamidele was facing me. He said you are going to write the truth, tore the statement I wrote, and presented another blank statement form.

“I told him I was writing the truth and you tore it.

“He said if I did not comply, my family, my dad, 10-year-old sister and relative will be charged in the murder case.

“He (Bamidele) brought out his phone, played the video obtained from the scene of the apartment and showed me pictures of Mr Ataga’s body.

“He said now you are going to write and then I started writing. He said why I am slow and I received another slap on my back.

“I told him that I was not feeling well and needed to rest.

“He (Bamidele) said there was no time, he then collected the statement form from me and he started writing. Chris then handcuffed my hands to the chair.”

Speaking further, Chidinma told the court that Bamidele first asked her questions and later stopped and that when he was done writing read the statement he wrote and told her that was what happened.

“He said this is what you are going to say or else my family will be charged.

“He read the statement to me again and told me that I should rehearse it. He said that is what I should tell the CP.

“Bamidele and Chris returned in the morning and said I should sign the statement but as I was reluctant in signing it, Chris said I should because nobody is coming for me and that they will provide me with a good government lawyer.

“After signing the statement, I was brought out of the interrogation room, given water to wash my face, and then we entered a vehicle and drove to Ikeja.

“When we arrived at Bamidele took me to the CP and I said what Bamidele wrote.

“After I was taken to the press, then we drove back to Panti where Bamidele said we are going to do a video recording, and he said I should say everything he had written in the statement and they recorded the video which was played here in court.

“I was returned to the cell; in the evening on the same June 24, Oseni brought me out of the cell, took me to an office, where Madeyinlo and another female officer Bola were. When Oseni left, I was given a blank statement form and I was told to write another statement.

“Jemiyo also walked in and I said I had already written a statement.

“I said I am tired and had not eaten. I was just sitting when Jemiyo came beside me and hit my head on a wooden table. This was when officer Bola had left.

“Madeyinlo said I should start writing. I picked the pen, wrote the date, my name, then she (Madeyinlo) started dictating to me and said that I should write what she said.

“I started writing and at the end of writing the statement, she asked me to sign.”

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