Chidinma Ojukwu looks as gentle as a dove. A 21-year old student of the University of Lagos is caught up in a web of heavy allegation pertaining to the murder of Michael Usifo Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer at Super Network Limited (Super TV).

Paraded in Lagos recently by the Lagos Commissioner of Police, the pretty lady was dressed in a short-sleeve shirt (with a black inner camisole) on a fitted blue jeans trousers. Her hair was neatly packed with a slight parting to the left. Her apparent gentleness was better defined by the pleasing sound produced by her voice. Chidinma was calm like a bomb. Her sad confession that followed makes this description perfect.

So, it happened that in about four months, the Late Super TV CEO got entangled with Chidinma in an affair that eventually cost him his life. In apparent excitement, he had found fun in the new “UNILAG Porsche” he had just got. After “getting high” on drugs and wine, he headed straight for the “highway” and eventually got killed while riding recklessly with little or no controls. Perhaps he took his time in selecting his match, but considering the captivating performance of the “cute ride”, he stepped on the gas pedal throwing caution to the wind. An Igbo proverb states that “what is pleasant can kill” (ihe na ato uto n’egbuegbu). This appeared to be the case of the Late Super TV CEO who was few days away from celebrating his 50th birthday before he called it a day in this world full of debauchery. The Super TV CEO never anticipated starring in such a super story.

Chidinma’s claim was that she was angered by the advances of her deceased lover who had allegedly slept with her at a certain point without her consent while they were out on the “highway.” She explained that she had expressed her dissatisfaction with his alleged non-chalance in addressing her financial needs. While the cash issue and the issue of the nonconsensual sex was still pending, the Late Super TV CEO made further advances which made her to slice his neck with a knife twice, leaving him to die in a pool of his blood. The 21-year-old allegedly killed a man more than twice her age like the assassins in the movie, Naked Weapon, leaving more than 21 questions unanswered.

Is intoxication a defence?

How can a 21-year-old be so vicious and wild? Chidinma claimed to have been high on alcohol and drugs when she attacked the Late Ataga. Intoxication is not a defence to criminal responsibility especially when it was self-induced like in this case. Chidinma might be handed a life sentence for manslaughter if her defence of intoxication is strong. Otherwise, she might be compelled to pay the ultimate price.


In Chidinma’s narrative, she appears to allude to self-defence. She claimed Ataga was violent and wanted to pounce on her at all cost without paying attention to her feelings. According to her testimony, having smashed her head against the wall and tried to choke her, she retaliated and defended herself by reaching out to the knife close to the kitchen cabinet she had leaned on. The defence is compelling but might be hard to believe in the absence of any compelling evidence. For instance, it needs to be proved that cutting the neck of Ataga was a reaction reasonably proportional to the alleged attack by him. 

The 300-level Mass Communication student used her beauty to entice men to pay her fees. But the blood of Ataga appears to have marked the end of the road. The “highway” groove at a short-let apartment in Lekki has led Ataga to a “long-let apartment” six-feet down. Whether Chidinma will join him for a reunion by the knife of the law is yet to be seen.

The days are evil. Lessons learnt. Let those who have ears hear.

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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