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HOMICIDE TRIAL: Blood on Chidinma’s dress matched Ataga’s DNA – Forensic expert

HOMICIDE TRIAL: Blood on Chidinma’s dress matched Ataga’s DNA – Forensic expert

Dr Richard Somiari, a forensic expert in the murder trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, on Tuesday, revealed that the DNA blood sample found on Chidinma’s red dress matched that of the victim, Michael Ataga, the late Super TV CEO.

Somiari, who is a director and consultant for the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, gave the evidence before the Lagos State High Court, at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

Ojukwu, a 300-level, Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, is being prosecuted for the murder of Ataga, alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.

READ ALSO: Alleged Killer of SuperTV CEO Tells Police Why She Stabbed Him to Death

At the resumed hearing of the trial on Tuesday, the witness who is the 11th prosecution, told the court that his office received 21 different items on different days from their DNA centre staff members.

The forensic analyst who was led in evidence by the Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, told the court that he had practised in the area of forensics for 15 years and had conducted over 500 forensic tests.

According to him, the items that were received for evidence included a stained red dress, an army green T-Shirt, and a DNA sample from Chidinma Ojukwu.

He also told Justice Yetunde Adesanya that other items that were received were urine, blood, gastric content and byle which were retained for toxicology reports.

The witness said the goal was to create an evidence triangle to link the suspect to the crime scene and the victim.

Somiari said the DNA on the red dress matched that of the victim, Ataga, but it did not match that of Chidinma and the other suspects, who were Babalola Disu and Oluwatomi Dada.

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The witness during cross-examination by the first defendant’s counsel, Mr Onwuka Egwu, told the court how the result of the toxicology report was forwarded to the office of the Attorney General of Lagos, Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He, however, said that not all forensic reports went through such procedure.

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

Egwu, however, 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 blood on the cotton, the wall, duvet, the white polo the victim was wearing, the chair, and a rug were tested.

READ ALSO: HANIFA: Heartbreaking homicide that would leave haunting history

The witness answered that the samples were not submitted.

He explained that the markers indicated in his report had nothing to do with the video.

Earlier, Somiari told the court that some samples were in storage but not tested.

The second defendant’s counsel, Mr Babatunde Busari, also cross-examined the witness.

He asked if any DNA sample was taken from the second defendant, Quadri, and the witness said no.

The counsel also asked the witness if he took part in the toxicology analysis which he answered no.

The third defendant counsel, Ms C. G. Ugochikwu, said that she had no examination for the witness.

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After listening to the testimony of Somiari, Justice Adesanya adjourned the case until May 30 for continuation of trial.

Ojukwu and the two others were arraigned on October 12, 2021, by the Lagos State Government.

Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, and stabbing while her sister, Egbuchu, is facing the ninth count of stealing an iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.

 

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