Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos High Court at Tafawa Balewa Square, on Thursday, admitted two handwritten statements made by Chidinma Ojukwu, standing trial for the alleged murder of Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga.
The judge ruled that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Ojukwu made the statements voluntarily rather than under duress.
In order to prove that the defendant made her confessional statements voluntarily, the judge admitted the statements into evidence while ruling on the trial-within-trial.
The defendant, represented by her counsel Mr. Onwuka Egwu, had alleged that she made the statements under duress, claiming that she was slapped and forced to sign them.
However, Justice Adesanya dismissed these allegations in her ruling on Thursday, stating that "the videos submitted in court did not show any signs of intimidation towards the defendant while she was writing her statements."
Justice Adesanya admitted the two statements in evidence and marked them as exhibits, stating that the voice of the Investigating Police Officer was clear and audible and did not show any form of intimidation.
In addition to the charge of murder, Ojukwu, along with Adedapo Quadri and her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, is also facing charges of stealing and forgery. Following the ruling, the prosecutor, Adenike Oluwafemi, requested an adjournment on the grounds that the next witness, a police officer, was out of the jurisdiction. Therefore, Justice Adesanya adjourned the trial until May 30 for further proceedings.
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Sources: Punch Newspaper
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