Family of Late Ataga Castigates Police for Bungling Son’s Murder Case

Michael Usifo Ataga

**Accuses Odumosu, Lagos CP of Complicity, Unprofessionalism

**Hires Legal Services of Ozekhome to Pursue Justice

The family of Michael Usifo Ataga, 50, the Super TV chief executive officer, CEO, whose life was gruesomely terminated June 15, 2021, in the Lekki area of Lagos, has come down hard on the Nigerian Police, and particularly the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, for allegedly bungling investigation into the murder case “through his lack of depth, thoroughness, and professionalism…”.

The family, who has engaged the legal services of fiery lawyer, senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome to pursue justice in the matter, had a few days ago, accused Odumosu of being complicit in an alleged attempt to protect their son’s killers, expressing shock that the arraignment at a Chief Magistrate Court, Yaba, of the 21-year old prime suspect, one Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300 level student of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, was done without even being informed of the development.

Hakeem Odumosu
Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos State Police Commissioner

In its written instruction to Ozekhome, which the radical lawyer made public on Sunday, the Ataga family made a startling allegation that Chidinma’s acclaimed father who was also charged to the Magistrate’s court for obstructing Police investigation “was actually not Chidinma’s biological father after all, but her “sugar daddy”. The family believed that the Police had deliberately lied to it. They viewed the actions of the Police as “a slap on their face, the face of justice, and a deliberate cover-up”.

Buttressing its allegation of police complicity, the Usifo family was miffed at the “comfortable movement” of Chidinma who had been remanded in prison custody, to court and back, in an Uber ride, and queried why this was done without even handcuffs, and without the knowledge of the family of the arraignment. It was also amazed by what it referred to as the “over-liberal bail terms” with “funny conditions of 1 million naira each with two sureties in like sum” granted the suspects by Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo “in such a heinous crime of hideous and horrific murder”.

Chidinma Ojukwu
Chidinma Ojukwu, the 21-year old prime suspect, a 300 level student of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos

Expressing strong suspicion of Babalola Disu’s complicity in the murder saga, the Ataga family wondered why he was charged with mere obstruction of Police investigation and failure to report a crime, such that he was granted bail in the “ridiculous term” of one million naira only and two sureties in like sum.

The bereaved family predicated their suspicion of Disu on information they claimed to have received to the effect that his short rental apartment was directly opposite the apartment where Ataga was killed. The family narrated to Ozekhome how the said Disu had asked that the carpenter of Air BnB should be called upon to fix his door, “only for the carpenter to be told later that it was actually Usifo’s door that was broken”.

Recall that Usifo had been found dead on June 15, 2021, with multiple stab wounds all over his body, at the said short rental apartment on Adebowale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, which Chidinma had personally booked. The wounds showed evidence of sustained torture. Chidinma had voluntarily confessed in her first public outing to stabbing Usifo severally with a knife under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and withdrawing the sum of N380,000 from the victim’s account with his ATM card, only to backtrack on her confession in a televised interview, where she claimed she had allegedly acted in self-defence.

Usifo was laid to rest July 30, 2021 at a solemn ceremony at the Ebony Vaults, Ikoyi, Lagos. Determined to secure justice for their son, Ozekhome, who has a reputation for successful prosecution of knotty matters, said he was briefed by the family to take up the case with all relevant authorities.

Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Photo
Mike Ozekhome, SAN,

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