A bank staff, Okike Obaji, has told a Lagos High Court that the sum of N50,000 was transferred from the account of the late Usifo Ataga to that of Chidinma Adaora between the 1st of June to the 24th.
He also said the bank became aware of the news of the death of its customer, Usifo Ataga, on June 17, 2021, via social media.
Obaji, an accounts officer with Guarantee Trust Bank, GTBank, testified on Thursday in the alleged murder case of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV.
Chidinma Ojukwu and one Adedapo Quadri were arraigned in October last year by the Lagos State Government alongside a third defendant, Chidinma’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu on a nine-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, forgery, stealing and being possession of stolen property.
They had all pleaded not guilty.
At the resumption of the trial, the witness, Okike Obaji, who works with the Victoria Island branch of the bank, produced the statement of account of the deceased between April 1, to August 31, 2021.
It’s the second time the bank official is appearing in court. In his first appearance, he was subpoenaed to present some bank documents of the late Mr Ataga. But in this second visit, he was summoned as a witness.
Explaining how the account statement was obtained, he said, “This statement was produced by the bank, Adeola Odeku branch to be precise, using the bank computer which is the process of producing such statements for all its customers”.
While confirming that the statement was not altered in any way as it was directly generated from the customer account and printed, the bank official said that the account statement ended on June 30, 2021, as “there were no other transactions on the requested account”.
He said after the bank became aware of the news of the death of its customer via social media, the bank subsequently blocked the account.
“For the security of the customer’s asset, the bank placed a no debit restriction on the account to ensure that further debit on the account does not occur. Column marked remarks (on the statement) revealed the details of specific transactions,” he said.
While giving an account of the transactions, the witness said that on June 16, the sum of N50,000 was transferred from the deceased to one Mogbo Nkechi, who is the owner of the service apartment where Ataga was killed.
Again, on the same day, the deceased bank account recorded two different debit entries of N101,200.
“The first went to Paycon Nigeria limited and the 2nd went to Capricorn digital, and these two transactions were card originated (ATM),” Obaji added.
Under cross-examination by Onwuka Egwu, a lawyer to the first defendant, Ojukwu, the witness said that the bank didn’t get any formal notice about the death of their customer.
He also testified that the line manager, Oludotun Akinde, was alerted about the transactions.
“From the 1st of June to 24th, how many transactions are in the name of Chidinma Adaora?” the lawyer asked.
“The transactions to Chidinma Adaora total N50k. 13th of June – N10,000, 14th of June N25,000, and another N15,000.”
He said the deceased also received multiple credit transfers of N20,000 and it was done using the USSD payment method on a mobile device.
After this testimony, Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned to May 9th to take the testimony of another bank witness from Access Bank.