The Nigerian police have insisted that it did not force Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect fingered in the murder of Super TV CEO Usifo Ataga, to write a statement.
A prosecution witness, ASP Olufunke Madeyinlo, told the court on Tuesday that Ms Ojukwu wrote her statement voluntarily.
Madeyinlo made the statement while testifying as the second prosecution witness in the trial within trial to ascertain whether Ojukwu was coaxed or induced to make a statement that she killed Ataga by herself.
Madeyinlo who had worked for 33 years in the police, said that on June 24, 2021, the officer in charge of the homicide section, Panti, Yaba, Razak Oseni, brought the defendant to her office to write her statement.
She said that she gave the first defendant a statement form and a pen.
According to the witness, DCP Adegoke Bayoade sent for Oseni who left the first defendant in her office.
Madeyinlo said that about 40 minutes later, Oseni came back to her office and took Ojukwu’s written statement.
She said, “Oseni collected the statement and went away with the first defendant.
“Nothing happened and nobody forced her to write the statement. She wrote the statement herself.”
During cross-examination by Ojukwu’s counsel, Onwuka Egwu, the witness said that she shared her office with three other officers, ASP Gbolahon Jemiyo, ASP Gbola Alabi, and Insp. Kolawole Lukman.
When asked if it was after Jemiyo had assaulted the first defendant that her statement was taken, the witness said that she was in the office with only Alabi when the defendant wrote her statement.
Asked if she interacted with Ojukwu while she was writing her statement, Madeyinlo answered in the affirmative.
“I did not ask her any questions, she wrote her statement herself. The only question I asked her was if she was satisfied with the statement she wrote.
“She answered yes, then I asked her to sign it,” the witness said.
Asked if she knew what happened to the statement the first defendant made on June 24, 2021, she said she didn’t.
However, Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case until November 17 for the first defendant to testify in the trial within trial.