• News - South West - Lagos
  • Updated: April 16, 2024

DNA evidence links Chidinma Ojukwu to Usifo Ataga's murder — Forensic expert

DNA evidence links Chidinma Ojukwu to Usifo Ataga's murder �

The 11th prosecution witness, Dr Richard Somiari, testified in the murder trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, stating that the DNA blood sample found on her red dress matched that of the victim, Usifo Ataga.

Somiari, a Director and Consultant for the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre provided his evidence before a Lagos High Court at Tafawa Balewa Square on Tuesday.

During the hearing, he was led in evidence by the Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Adenike Oluwafemi and shared his extensive experience in forensic work, spanning 15 years and including over 500 forensic tests.

Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, is charged with the murder of Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.

The forensic analyst told the court that his office received 21 different items on different days from their DNA centre staff members.

He said the items were received for evidence and they included a stained red dress, an army green T-shirt and a DNA sample from Chidinma Ojukwu. He added that other items received were urine, blood, gastric content and byle which were retained for a toxicology report.

Somiari said that the goal was to create an evidence triangle to link the suspect to the crime scene and the victim, adding that the DNA on the red dress matched that of the victim, Ataga.

He, however, shared that the DNA did not match that of Chidinma and the other suspects, Babalola Disu and Oluwatomi Dada.

The witness was cross-examined by the first defendant’s counsel, Onwuka Egwu and narrated how the result of the toxicology report was forwarded to the office of the Attorney-General of Lagos, the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions. He, however, said that not all forensic reports went through such a procedure.

When asked if he questioned the report given by Dr Andrea Nuhu, the witness said: “I have already said that I am not a toxicologist. It is a toxicologist that can do such.”

Egwu requested the video of the crime scene to be played and the court granted it.

While the video was playing, he asked the witness whether the samples of the blood on the cotton, the wall, the duvet, white polo the victim was wearing, were tested.

The witness answered that the samples were not submitted.

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