Stop media trial of Chidinma, Nigerian lawmaker, Akande-Shadipe tells Police

Segun Showunmi in Ibadan

A federal lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Shadipe has urged the Nigerian Police to stop the ongoing media trial of Ms. Chidinma Ojukwu, the prime suspect in the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga.

Penpushing reports that  the lawmaker gave the caution note in at statement by his  Special Adviser  on Media and Publicity, Olamilekan Olusada which was made available to journalists on Thursday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The lawmaker in a motion of urgent public importance moved at the plenary of the House raised concerns over the unending parade and media trial of the suspect by the Nigerian Police,adding that if the prime suspect continues to be paraded about for a social media trial, it could affect the determination and outcome of the case, as well as amount to a breach of her fundamental rights.

“The motion was not about Chidinma, her ethnicity, gender or her background, it’s is about doing things right and following due process of the law, it is about the broader issues of police violation of Human rights. If Ms. Ojukwu continues to be paraded about for a social media trial, it could affect the determination and outcome of the case, as well as amount to a breach of her fundamental right to a fair hearing, especially where she is labeled or treated as one guilty of a crime.”

The motion read in part, “Cognizant that Section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty, the motion reads

‘Thus, so long as Ms. Ojukwu has not been proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction, she is not to be labeled a criminal or paraded about to conduct series of interviews on a case currently under investigation. Rather, the police are to conduct a proper investigation and allow the court to consider the matter and make an informed judgment”, the motion added.

Penpushing further reports that the lawmaker said the police should rather conclude its investigation in her matter and charge her to court for trial rather than the ongoing media trial the suspect is being made to go through.

The lawmaker, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police to call all police personnel to order and ensure that there is no repeat of violation of Human rights and media access to arrested persons in the future, to avoid compromising the case in a court of law.

Penpushing also reports that, Akande-Shadipe declared that the police should ensure that the suspect does  not die in custody or commit suicide while awaiting trial as in some past cases.

Meanwhile, the prime suspect, a  300 level student of the University of Lagos, Akoka, was first paraded by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on June 24, 2021, at the Police Command in connection with the murder of Ataga,

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