By Jennifer Ugwueke
A 300-Level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Chidinma Adaorah, has been arrested over the murder of the Chief Executive Officer, Super TV, Usifo Ataga, last week Tuesday, in an apartment in the Lekki area of the State.
The 21-year-old suspect, who was paraded by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Hakeem Odumosu, yesterday, at the command headquarters, Ikeja, admitted before journalists to have committed the crime.
She revealed that she stabbed Ataga to death under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The suspect, who thereafter left the short-let apartment at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki, Phase 1, Lagos, after the incident, was tracked and arrested in her apartment at 57, Akinwunmi Street, Alagomeji, Yaba area of Lagos, Wednesday.
A blood-stained cloth she was suspected to have worn on the day Ataga was murdered, was discovered during a search of her apartment by policemen.
How I killed him
Disclosing how Ataga was stabbed to death, Chidinma, who hails from Arochukwu in Abia State, said: “I met him about four months ago through a friend. But that was the first time we would stay together.
“He told me to get a short let apartment. I searched online and sent it to him. He said I should go and check it out and thereafter, he paid for it. That was on Sunday, June 13, 2021.
“On Monday, we were together, drinking and smoking. We had fun. Later I went out to get food for both of us. On Tuesday, he tried to make advances at me, but I told him I was tired and he became violent. Eventually, he had his way.
“Towards afternoon, we ordered for smoke and blue fees together, that was what we took. We ate food and became high. I wasn’t happy with the first one he did. So, I sat on my own, smoking, drinking and eating. He was on the couch but later came to where I sat watching television. I told him I wasn’t happy with what he did the first time.
“I told him, ‘you don’t help or assist me but yet, you just want to be playing with me around’. He gave me his ATM card and said I could go and withdraw any amount I wanted. He also gave me the pin.
“But I told him that was not what I meant by assistance. He became violent and tried to get to me, but I resisted him and tried to defend myself. At some point, he hit my head on the wall and I retaliated. He held me and was choking me as I leaned on the cabinet. In defence, I stretched out my hand and collected a knife and stabbed him in the neck. I had attempted severally to leave before then, but he stopped me.
“Contrary to a rumour that I collected N5 million from his account, it was only N380,000 I withdrew from his account. I don’t have that kind of money in my account.
“I went home straight without reaching out to anyone. He was the one that gave me his ATM card and pin after I complained that he wasn’t taking care of me. I wanted to use the money I withdrew from his account to pay my fees.
“He was the one that invited the drug guy, he was always with the drug. In the last four months I have known him, we haven’t gone out like that. I felt disappointed when the Police came to my parents’ house to arrest me by 9 pm on Wednesday.”
When asked if her parents were aware of her relationship with the deceased, she said: “ No. I told my parents that I was going for an ushering job. I used to do freelance ushering jobs.
“I checked into the short-let apartment with a foreign number, not because I had it all planned out or because I didn’t want to be traced. The foreign number was what I used in contacting the lady that is in charge of renting out the short- let apartment. I used an app to generate the foreign number.”
How the deceased was discovered
Explaining how the deceased was discovered, Odumosu said: “ On June 15, 2021, the suspect, Chidinma, checked into a short let apartment in Lekki with the deceased, Michael Ataga. They were there together as friends, until Tuesday when she left the facility with the man still inside.
“When the man didn’t come out on Tuesday and Wednesday, the workers in charge of evacuating trash bins went in to carry out their normal duty, only to discover that the door was ajar. When they got in they discovered the victim in the pool of his blood, wearing only boxers.
“She cut off the artery that supplies blood through the neck and also on his stomach and cleverly changed her clothes before leaving.
“She also disappeared with the deceased’s ATM card, which she claimed he gave to her voluntarily alongside the pin, which she went further to make withdrawals.
“ She was traced to 57, Akinwunmi Street, Alagomeji, Yaba area of Lagos on June 23, 2021. We have been able to recover his driver’s licence and complimentary cards in her bags, as well as clothes and some personal effects that the man came with.
“Also recovered were Access Bank Statement Account, one Nigeria International Passport with No.B50010434 belonging to the suspect, one fake driver’s licence bearing Mary Johnson with the suspect’s photograph, one National Identification Card bearing the suspect’s name, one UBA ATM debit card bearing the suspect’s name and one University of Lagos ID card bearing the suspect’s name.”
Reacting, a source at Unilag said: “The last time she came to school was before Covid-19 lockdown. She has never written 300-Level exams with her cohorts. She has never stepped her feet on the soil of UNILAG since the commencement of this semester early last month.”