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Ataga: Change of lawyer stalls Chidinma’s trial

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Lagos State High Court at Tafawa Balewa Square yesterday adjourned till May 16 the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect in the murder of SuperTV owner Usifo Ataga.

The latest adjournment followed a request for change of counsel by the third defendant in the suit, Chioma Egbuchu.

Ojukwu, a 300-level, Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos (Unilag), is being tried for the alleged offence alongside her sister, Egbuchu and second defendant Adedapo Quadri.

At the last hearing on Tuesday, the court adjourned after taking the testimony of a witness, Deputy Superintendent of Police Bamidele Olusegun, who alleged that Ojukwu stabbed the late Ataga multiple times.

At the commencement of yesterday’s proceedings, Egbuchu’s counsel Mrs. J. I. Osaigede, who stood in for Mr O. A. Ogunsanya of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), told the court that Egbuchu would no longer be represented by the OPD.

She said Egbuchu wrote to notify the OPD that she no longer needed their services.

Another counsel, Ngozi Akandu, announced his appearance for Egbuchu, telling the court that he was briefed about the case on Wednesday, May 11 and thus needed time to go through the case file.

Akandu also told the court that the documents given to Egbuchu by her former counsel to give to him were not legible. He also stated that the documents were given to him inside the court by Chioma on Thursday morning.

He said: “I can’t see anything; they are so vague. I understand that trial has commenced, but I humbly apply and urge the court to give me time to study the case file, and also for the prosecution to avail me the clearer copies of the proof of evidence so that I can come in properly”.

Justice Yetunde Adesanya granted the application and adjourned till May 16.

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