The lawyer to Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect in the murder of Michael Usifo, the Chief executive officer of Super TV, on Wednesday grilled prosecution witnesses over the possibility of a more likelier suspect in the murder case.
The lawyer, Onwuka Egwu, who cross-examined the witnesses, asked several questions about one Babalola Disu and his possible connection with the murder.
Nkechi Mogbo, the owner of the apartment where Mr Usifo was murdered, earliered appeared before the court to give testimony in the trial.
Abubakar Mohammed, the security man at the property, also gave an account of what transpired while Ms Ojukwu was lodged at the apartment.
While cross-examining the witnesses, a name was prominent in Mr Egwu’s questions to the witnesses – Babalola Disu.
Who is Babalola Disu?
According to the accounts of Mrs Mogbo and Mr Mohammed, Mr Disu is the occupant of the room closest to the apartment where Mr Usifo was murdered.
He was also a lodger at the apartment, who checked out two days after the incident. Mr Disu’s profession or identity is unknown.
Although Mr Disu was arraigned alongside Chidinma’s father, Onoh Ojukwu, for not reporting a crime to the police, he was later granted bail.
The DPP advice on the matter exonerated Mr Disu, saying he had no case to answer in the murder incident.
Despite his exoneration by the state’s prosecution team, Mr Disu’s name kept re-echoing in the courtroom, with the defense lawyer making him the basis of most of his questions for the witnesses.
While cross examining Mrs Mogbo, the owner of the apartment where Mr Usifo was killed, Mr Egwu asked if Mr Disu requested the service of a carpenter during the period of the murder and for what purpose.
Mr Egwu also said the apartment owner did not ask questions about the unusual request of Mr Disu because she knew about the nature of the carpentry job.
Mrs Mogbo, who confirmed that the lodger requested the service of a carpenter, said the claim that she knew why he made the request was false.
Security man’s account
While answering the lawyer’s question on Mr Disu’s activities at the property, Mr Mohammed, the security man, said Mr Disu requested his apartment to be charged on June 13, the same day Ms Ojukwu took an apartment in the property.
He said between 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon on June 13, Mr Disu was moved to a two-bedroom apartment, beside the studio apartment which Ms Ojukwu took.
“He came to me that Sunday and collected my madam’s number that he want to transfer to the two-bedroom apartment upstairs.”
Mr Mohammed said the belongings of Mr Disu was moved by the workers to the new apartment, while he was not around.
“Mr Babalola was not around from Sunday till Tuesday due to the public holiday on Monday,” he said.
Continuing in his response, Mr Mohammed said Mr Disu was a first-time lodger at the apartment.
“On Monday, Toyin, Mr Babalola girlfriend or wife came by he was not around,” he said.
The security man said when the lady came, she pleaded with him to notify her when Mr Disu came back to the apartment because there was an “issue” between them.
She told Mr Mohammed that Mr Disu took her car and did not return it and that he withdrew some money from her account.
Day of murder
Mr Mohammed narrated that on Tuesday night, the day Ms Ojukwu left the apartment with a small bag and didn’t return, Toyin, Mr Disu’s ‘grilfriend’ came around.
“Mr Babalola’s girlfriend, Toyin, came on Tuesday with her driver and gateman. They parked in front of the gate.”
The security man said after a short period, he heard noise from their apartment, while he went to pump water.
“There was serious fight between Mr Babalola and his girlfriend. I went there to say they should not make noise because other people were in the compound.”
Mr Mohammed said after he intervened, he left for the gate and Mr Disu followed him down immediately, leaving his girlfriend in the apartment.
He said Mr Disu stayed outside the gate for a while, smoking cigarette and making calls.
“Around 12 midnight, Mr Babalola called me that he needs a carpenter. I said okay, by tomorrow,” the security man said.
He narrated that the following day, Wednesday, when he was asked about the carpenter, he called his employer’s brother, Mr Chika, to tell him about the request of the lodger.
“I asked if he has paid caution fee in case of any damage and Mr Chika said he has paid and I should not worry.”
It was on that Wednesday Mr Usifo’s body was discovered in the apartment, following a complaint by Confidence, the cleaner of the apartment, the door to the apartment Mr Usifo was open.
Mr Mohammed narrated that Mr Disu was due to check out on Thursday and when he was about to leave the premises, he asked if he could help him pack some of his things from the room.
“I asked Mr Babalola what he needed the carpenter for and he pointed at the door of the other apartment (where the deceased was murdered).
“I called my madam brother, Chika on Thursday and told her that when I asked Mr Babalola what he needed the carpenter for and that he pointed at the door where the thing happened,” Mr Mohammed said.
When asked whether Mr Disu was aware of the incident that had happened in the next apartment, Mr Mohammed said none of the other lodgers were aware of what happened.
“I did not tell anyone what happened,” he said.
Mrs Mogbo, the apartment owner, also told the court earlier that other people in the apartment were not aware of the incident until much later, as some stayed till one week after the incident.
Following the cross examination of the witness, the judge, Yetunde Adesanya, adjourned the matter till November 25 for continuation of trial.
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