The trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, accused of murdering Super TV’s Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga, was stalled on Tuesday at the Lagos State High Court, sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square Annex.
Defence counsels complained that the statements contained in the proof of evidence served on them were all unclear and that the audio interviews of the defendants were also inaudible.
They stated that the defendants had a right to clearer statements and audible video interviews as it would enable them to prepare their defence adequately.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya, in her ruling, directed the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to provide clearer statements and audible copies of the interviews to all the defence counsels before the end of the day.
She further adjourned the matter to November 11, 15, 16, 17, 26 and 30 for trial.
Earlier, Mrs A.O. Adeyemi, had entered appearance for the prosecution from the DPP, while Mr Onwuka Egbu, Mr Babatunde Busari and Mr A.O. Ogunsanya had appeared for the first to third defendants respectively.
Mrs. Adeyemi told the court that she had two witnesses in court and was ready to begin trial, but Mr. Egwu informed the court that he had a pending application before the court that was ripe for hearing.
He said that in his application, he was praying for more legible statements, as the ones contained in the proof of evidence the prosecution served him were indecipherable.
Counsel to the second defendant, Busari, aligned with the submission of the first defence counsel and further complained that the video recordings of the interviews were not served on him.
On his part, counsel to the third defendant, Ogunsanya, from the office of the Public Defender (OPD), told the court that the video interviews of the defendants that were served on him were not audible.
Thereby aligning with previous submissions that the statements he was served were also not clear.
The defence counsels submitted that they needed all these documents to enable them prepare for the trial adequately.
Adeyemi told the court that she would send soft copies of all the proof of evidence to each defence counsels’ email before the end of the day.
At the last sitting in October, Miss Ojukwu, her co-accused Adebayo Quadri and one Chioma Egbuchu pleaded not guilty to the nine-count charge.
The first two defendants, Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri, are facing the first eight counts on the charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
The third defendant, who is the first defendant’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count charge of stealing an iPhone 7, phone, belonging to the late Ataga.