Chidinma Ojukwu, the first defendant in the case of the murder of Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga, left the apartment where the murder occurred a night before the body was found.
A security guard at the apartment stated this on Wednesday while testifying before a Lagos high court as the second prosecution witness in the murder trial. The security guard, Abubakar Mohammed, was being cross-examined before the court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Mohammed began his testimony on Tuesday. He was cross-examined on Wednesday by defence counsel.
Ojukwu, an undergraduate, is facing trial along with her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri.
While Ojukwu and Quadri are charged with conspiracy and murder of Ataga, Egbuchu is charged with theft of Ataga’s iPhone.
During his cross-examination by Ojukwu’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu, the security guard said that Ojukwu left the apartment on the night of June 15 and did not return to the premises even after Ataga’s body was found.
He testified that when Ojukwu was leaving, he was at his duty post and she waved at him and entered a vehicle.
The witness denied that he told the police that he suspected one Mr Babalola Disu, who also lodged at the apartment at the time the alleged murder happened. Mohammed also told the court that he did not get Ataga’s full view when he came into the premises because he (Ataga) was inside a vehicle.
He also said that the deceased did not come out of his apartment after he entered.
The witness said it was Ojukwu who used to come out or call him on phone when she needed any help.
Quadri’s counsel, Mr Babatunde Busari, also cross-examined the witness. Busari asked him to confirm if a dispatch rider actually came to the apartment and how many times the dispatch rider came.
The witness testified that a dispatch rider came once to the apartment, adding that the dispatch rider gave Ojukwu a small parcel which he did not know the content.
The witness was, however, re-examined by prosecution counsel, Mr Yusuf Sule, during which he told the court that Ojukwu was the person who came and logged at the apartment. Mohammed said he was able to identify her at a police station during an investigation “because she wears her face mask without covering her nose.
“I was also able to identify her when she removed her face mask.
“The police also asked her (defendant) if she knows me and my name, the defendant answered, ‘Yes’, and mentioned my name, Abu.
NAN reports that the witness had on Tuesday narrated to the court how Ojukwu and Ataga allegedly logged at the apartment where he worked as security man.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case until November 25 for continuation of trial. (Tribune)
Edinburgh International Festival director Fergus Linehan to be honoured by city as he bows out
Fergus Linehan has been named the next recipient of the prestigious Edinburgh Award ahead of his farewell season in August, which will coincide with the event’s 75th anniversary.
He will follow in the footsteps of authors JK Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin, artist Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, sporting heroes Doddie Weir, Ken Buchanan and Sir Chris Hoy.
The honour has been announced months after it was confirmed that Mr Linehan, who was appointed in 2013, would be leaving at the end of his current contract.
A worldwide recruitment process for his replacement is currently ongoing.
The Edinburgh Award was instigated in 2007 to recognise an “outstanding individual” who has made a positive impact on the city and gained national and international recognition for the city.
Born in Dublin, Mr Linehan made his name as director of the city’s theatre festival. He later relocated to Australia, becoming chief Executive and artistic Director of the Sydney Festival and then head of music at Sydney Opera House.
Mr Linehan, who programmed his first Edinburgh International Festival in 2015, has overseen the expansion of the event to embrace rock, pop, electronica, indie and folk music, programmed shows at Leith Theatre for the first time in decades, and instigated large-scale free outdoor opening events.
The EIF returned from a Covid-enforced hiatus this summer with a programme of shows largely staged in pop-up outdoor venues.
Mr Linehan is also currently co-chair of Impact Scotland, the charitable trust spearheading plans to create the first purpose-built new concert hall in Edinburgh for more than a century. (TheScotsman)
Singer Tope Alabi, husband mark 21st wedding anniversary
Iconic Gospel singer, Tope Alabi, and her husband, Olusoji, marked their 21st wedding anniversary on Tuesday.
The indigenous singer took to her verified Instagram page to share pictures of herself and her husband.
She accompanied the pictures with a heartfelt message about their union, as she also appreciated God for how far they’ve come.
Tope wrote,” 21 years ago, we took the vow to be together as husband and wife at a time destiny has not even shown up.
“Through the thick and thin and the vicissitudes of life, we are who we are by the Grace of God.
“I celebrate Jesus for sustaining our home and ministry. It is not by power nor by might but by His Mercy and Grace. Ose oo Jesu (Thank you Jesus). Happy Wedding Anniversary to us.”
Tope Alabi’s husband, Olusoji, is the Chief Executive Officer of Gospel Vibes Limited, the management which the singer is signed to.
Olusoji, who doubles as his wife’s manager and music producer, has been a great supporter of Tope’s music journey as one of the foremost Yoruba Gospel singers in the country. (Punch)