A new revelation has been made known from the ongoing trial of Michael Ataga, Super TV CEO murder.
The co-founder of Super Network Limited, the parent company of Super TV, Rahman Saliu has on Monday, made a testimony at the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.
Saliu revealed that the family of Michael Usifo Ataga found his body at a service apartment in the Lekki area of the state.
Ataga was allegedly killed by Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos.
Michael Ataga Murder Trial Continues
Chidinma who has been standing trial for the murder resumed her court hearing on Monday.
Saliu recalled that he and Usifo used to hold a management meeting on Mondays and Tuesdays, but before the meeting of June 15, 2021, he needed to complete a task.
Saliu noted he tried calling the deceased after completing his tasks, but he did not pick up his calls.
Saliu said, “He didn’t pick his calls neither did he return my message. I was surprised because the only thing he wanted to hear was that the billing app with MTN was working. This was about 3:30 pm on June 15, 2021.
“Then I got a WhatsApp message from him and after reading the message, I said to myself that this was not Michael (Ataga) talking to me.
“The message read, ‘I saw your missed call; I took some drugs that can make me sleeping.’ The construction of that message was not Michael, because Michael was fluent in English.
“Then I sent him a screenshot of the billing system in the Super TV app; that it was working and his response to me was ‘OK, great.’ That was when I knew something was happening because Michael would jump up, pick up his phone and call me immediately.
“I called Gambo; he was a driver and personal assistant to Michael. I asked him if he received any call from Micheal, and he said no, and that he had also been calling him because he needed to pick up the clothes he was travelling with to Abuja from the laundry.
“Then his friend, Okwuedo, who lives with us at the Victoria Garden City, asked where was Usifo (Ataga), and I told him I got a WhatsApp message from him. So, Okwuedo asked to see the message. Immediately he saw it, he said this was not Michael’s typing.”
Saliu added that they continued searching for the deceased till his wife, Brenda, called on June 17, 2021, requesting the whereabouts of her husband.
He revealed that Brenda was furious with him for not letting her know about her husband being missing, she then later traced call her husband’s phone to the University of Lagos Guest House.
“While going through Yaba, I got a call from our GTB account officer, whom I asked to help me trace Michael’s transactions so that I could know where exactly he was. He said Michael made transactions on Sunday and Monday, and the Sunday transaction was to a lady, Mrs Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the service apartment.
“The account officer also said the transaction that was made on Monday was to a Sterling Bank with the name Chidinma Ojukwu Adora. The account officer asked me what was happening and I told him that that day was his birthday and that I had been looking for him since Tuesday.
Saliu revealed that he requested for the number linked with the GTB account which was given to him with Brenda later calling him back to inform him that Ataga is dead after speaking with the owner of the service apartment.
“I didn’t want to believe that Michael was dead. When I got to the mortuary, I saw Michael’s body. Michael was killed like a chicken; I saw a big cut at the back of his neck. The wickedness for me was that the day I was with Michael’s corpse, they were still taking money from his account, that was 17th June 2021, exactly the day he was 50 years old.
“I traced the money that was transferred by Michael to Chidinma’s Sterling Bank account and I supplied all the information to the police at Panti. Around 1 am, on June 23, 2021, I got a message from Panti (SCIID) that Chidinma had been arrested.
“Michael’s iPhone came with an original Apple pouch; when the police recovered the iPhone from Chidinma, it was replaced with a N1,000 pouch. Michael’s laptop was also recovered. There were two iPhones, one iPhone 11 and iPhone 7 or 8, were also recovered. I was told by the police that she gave the other iPhone to her sister.”
The case was further adjourned till February 17, 2022, for the continuation of the trial.