What Ataga’s wife did that led to Chindima’s arrest – witness
Brenda Usifo, the widow of slain Super TV CEO Ataga Usifo, helped unravel the initial mystery surrounding his death, a court heard on Monday.
Raman Obiorah Saliu, a co-founder of Super Network Limited (owners of Super TV), revealed the tracking of Atega’s phone by Brenda led the search party to the University of Lagos Guest House.
Saliu gave his testimony in the trial of Chindima Adora Ojukwu, the principal suspect in the murder. Ojukwu and Atega had checked into the apartment in which the latter the cold-blooded murder was discovered.
Saliu said 10 minutes of Brenda’s previous call to him, she called again to inform him that Atega’s phone had been traced to the guest house.
“I didn’t take my bath; I just grabbed my car key and I started driving to UNILAG. A friend called me, and I told him I was driving to UNILAG. He asked how I knew Usifo was in UNILAG, I mentioned that the information came from Brenda.
“Mrs Brenda Ataga also called me and said there is a team of policemen that will meet me at UNILAG, to conduct the search. I got to UNILAG before them, so I went to the security and told them I was looking for a black Range Rover and they directed me to the guest house.
“The police joined me with two of his friends and staff (member) from my office. Mrs Ataga called me and was giving me the GPS coordinate from where the direction of the phone is. While going through Yaba, I got a call from our GTBank account officer, whom I asked to help me trace Michael’s transactions, so that I can know where exactly he is.
“He told me that Michael made transactions on Sunday and Monday. The Sunday transaction was to a lady Mrs Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the service apartment (where the deceased was murdered). The account officer also said that the transaction that was made on Monday was to a Sterling Bank with the name Chidinma Ojukwu Adora. The account officer asked me what was happening, I said today is his birthday and I have been looking for him since Tuesday.
“So, I told him that since the owner of the service apartment uses GTB, he should send me her number, and he did. The police said I should give the number to Brenda so that it will not distract from our search of Michael.”
“Only for Brenda to later call and tell me that Michael is dead. I fainted; it took the police to resuscitate me. When I was a bit okay, I called her and asked how? She said she called the number I sent to her, and the owner of the apartment said somebody was murdered that she should show his means of Identification if it was the person we were looking for.
“So, Brenda shared her husband’s picture to the woman and the owner of the service apartment said this person was murdered here and she is on her way to the police station at Maroko, so Brenda asked me to meet Mrs Nkechi Mogbo, at Panti.
“I met her with some of Michael’s friends at Panti, and we went to the scene of the incident where Michael was murdered. I didn’t want to believe that Michael was dead, I saw Michael’s belongings that the police brought out and we were not allowed inside.
“When I got to the mortuary, I saw Michael’s body, Michael was killed like a chicken, I saw a very big cut at the back of his neck. The wickedness, for me, is that the day I was with Michael’s corpse; they were still taking money from his account, that was 17 June 2021, exactly the day he was 50 years old.
“There were subsequent USSD transactions on his account until Brenda and I decided to close the account. I started tracking Chidinma, I started looking at Michael’s calls from 9mobile and MTN, Chidinma was calling him with a WhatsApp number.
“I traced the money that was transferred by Michael to Chidinma’s Sterling Bank and I supplied all the information to the police at Panti. Around 1am, on June 23, 2021, on a Wednesday, I got a message from Panti, that Chidinma has been arrested.
“Michael’s iPhone came with an original Apple pouch, when the police recovered the iPhone from Chidinma, it was replaced with a N1000 pouch; Michael’s laptop was also recovered. There were two iPhones, one iPhone 11 and one iPhone 7 or 8, was also recovered; I was told by the police that she gave the other iPhone to her sister,” Saliu recounted as he broke down in tears.
He further stated that there was a restaurant at Lekki – Angle Villa Restaurant that the deceased made a transaction on June 13.
“I shared the information with Michael’s friends, and they proceeded to Angle Villa, to confirm if a transaction was actually made. They confirmed that Michael came so we requested CCTV footage to know if he went alone, but we discovered that he came with Chidinma.”