Forensic Expert Testifies in Chidinma Ojukwu’s Murder Trial

The trial of undergraduate student Chidinma Ojukwu for the murder of Super TV CEO Usifo Ataga continued at the Lagos High Court on Tuesday with the testimony of forensic expert Dr. Richard Somiari.
Dr. Somiari, the eleventh prosecution witness, informed the court that the DNA blood sample found on Chidinma’s red dress matched that of the victim, Usifo Ataga.
Testifying under the guidance of Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, Dr. Somiari, a director and consultant at the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, stated his 15 years of experience in forensic analysis, having conducted over 500 forensic tests.
He disclosed receiving 21 different items, including Chidinma’s red dress, an army green t-shirt, and a DNA sample from Chidinma herself.
Other items received included urine, blood, gastric content, and bile, retained for a toxicology report, aiming to establish an evidence triangle linking the suspect to the crime scene and the victim.
Dr. Somiari confirmed that the DNA on Chidinma’s red dress matched that of the victim, Usifo Ataga, but not that of Chidinma or the other initially charged suspects, Babalola Disu and Oluwatomi Dada.
Under cross-examination by the defendants’ counsels, Dr. Somiari clarified the forensic procedures and the submission of reports to relevant authorities.
While the court granted the request to play the video of the crime scene, Dr. Somiari clarified that not all samples seen in the video were tested, and some remained in storage.
The witness confirmed that no DNA sample was taken from the second defendant, Quadri, and he did not participate in the toxicology analysis.
After hearing the testimony, Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case until May 30 for the continuation of the trial.
Recall that Chidinma Ojukwu and the two others were arraigned on October 12, 2021, by the Lagos State Government, with Ojukwu and Quadri facing counts of conspiracy, murder, and stabbing, while Egbuchu faces a count of stealing an iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.
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