The Ataga Murder: A Parent’s Nightmare, A Wife’s Heartbreak, Two Wasted Lives

By Comfort Obi

You just wish it didn’t happen. The tragedy of a Chief Executive Officer and his girlfriend. In the crazy modern age we are forced to live in, the men call their girlfriends by names ranging from side chics, to side kicks to handbags. There is, also, a category called runsgirls.

But this particular  girlfriend was from hell. A devil’s gift to mankind. Every parent’s nightmare.

Chidinma Ojukwu

Young and attractive, innocence written all over her face, this young lady is not your everyday beauty. She is a “Slay Queen”. That’s another name her type is called. She is the  fatal enchantress who put a stop to the fake and deceptive life of a high-flying, rich Chief Executive Officer of Super TV. She is the one who wiped the smile off the face of another young woman, the legal owner of the super-stud who ended badly. She is the one who broke another woman’s heart. And made her children fatherless. And she is the one who has reduced the lives of her own parents and siblings to an unending nightmare. And brought shame to all who loved her.

She has stigmatised her  family, perhaps,forever. In the process, she has destroyed and wasted her own life.  The fast life –  booze, drugs, s*x –  is gone. From now on, she would live a life of agony, and regret, and shame, and pain.

Chidinma’ Ojukwu

Her name is Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu. Good names. At 21, she had her life before her. She was a 300 level student of the University of Lagos. She was there to read, to study, so as to become somebody in future, and help her family and the society. When you look at her, she looked all that. A responsible daughter. Sweet looking. She was reading Mass Communication, a good course. But she hit her family below the belt, and became, according to the Police, and judging by her public confession, a cold blooded murderer. And a common thief.

Chidinma stole from the dead. She stole while watching the  blood-oozing dead body of the man she had just drank with, smoked with, and had s*x with. She watched his blood flow in rivulets. She couldn’t be bothered. She stole her dead lover blind. Of I-phone. Of ATM card. After she stole his life, forever.

The victim was a 49-year old, good looking guy. Rich. Had a beautiful home in an area exclusive for the rich – Banana Island, Lagos. Upwardly mobile. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV. So he was a Media owner, or part owner. The one whose media outfit exposed evil. The one whose outfit  preached against the use of drugs by the young. The one who appeared prim and proper. But was all rotten inside, if his girlfriend is to be believed. From her story, he lived a double life. A deceitful life.

At home, he was a good father to his children. But would be at the center of the destruction of the life of, perhaps, his children’s mate. He lived a life of drugs, booze and s*x. And those, ultimately, took his life. So his side chic said publicly.

His name was Michael Usifo  Ataga. The one now in the mortuary, killed by a girl he met barely five months ago.

How did Ataga allow his glittering life to come to this shattering and shameful end? How did Chidinma’s promising life come to this disgraceful end? A life that would, having confessed to being a killer, now be spent in jail or worse,  meet with a brutish end in the gallows?

According to Chidinma, he and Ataga met five months ago. And the dating game started. A game that, I guess, was meant to change her life for the better – or, would that not be why she would date a married man 28 years older than she is? She wanted money. A glittering life. A fantasy life as a student. No hassles over school fees, pocket money, change in wardrobe. Good make-up. Good wigs. Good perfumes.

But she is not an innocent, deprived student. Her look of innocence is deceptive. She lived on the fast lane. High flying. A life of booze, drugs and s*x. She knew those to follow. Her type. Her circle. Not the male students, her age, in school. Before them, she was an introvert. A friend, she said,  introduced her to her type of man. A man who would trust her to get a comfortable place for a get-away for two. Pure heaven. But it went awry on June 14, 2021 when the devil in them surfaced.

According to Chidinma, both she and Ataga were high on drugs and alcohol. She called what they smoked skay and loud. This modern generation will kill us. They smoke all sorts. And drink all sorts. With all sorts of weird names. So they were high on those, and things got out of hand. She stabbed him to death, in a most horrendous manner.

The reason she killed him is where she lost me. She said he wanted more s*x and she refused because she didn’t like the first one. What’s that? I mean, the way she told the story, it was as if Ataga wanted to take advantage of an innocent girl. She presents herself as the victim. But, perish that thought. Was having s*x with him not part of the ‘get-away’ package? In any case, even if the man wanted it rough, was that a reason to kill him? Why not walk away? Oh, okay, I remember. She said Ataga locked the door, and hid the key. Story-story!

Without prejudice to Police investigations, this girl told a cock and bull story. It is a story James Hadley Chase, the master story-teller,  would ask his character to “tell to the Marines.”

I would say Chidinma went to the apartment prepared. Beneath her innocent look is a devilish heart. She had a well laid out  plan. And, propelled by drugs and booze, she had no fears, no qualms carrying out her blood- cuddling mission.

She had a fake driver’s licence. That’s criminal.She had  a foreign phone number? Why? She said she generated it? For what purpose? It will be nice to know in which name Ataga knew her. And, which name and phone number she used to book for the Service apartment that turned a murder apartment. Who would patronise that apartment again? She has exposed the place for what it is – no security, not even CCTV cameras.

Again, without prejudice to Police investigations, I am tempted to categorise Chidinma as a cold- blooded  murderer. Her action may have been aided by drugs and booze, but it was not an accident. She had the presence of mind to steal his victim’s I-phone (the craze of our youths), and his ATM card. She had the presence of mind to change her clothes and, using the man’s ATM, withdrew, according to her, the sum of N380,000. Could be more.

But, this is the same girl who said she rejected Ataga’s earlier offer to her of his ATM card, disclosed the pin number to her, and asked her to go and withdraw as much money as she wanted. She said the offer was made when she accused Ataga of not taking care of her needs. Her response to Ataga’s offer: “That’s not what I mean.”

Dear readers, tell me, what else did this girl need? She said she  rejected s*x. She said she rejected the offer of an ATM Card and the opportunity to withdraw hundreds of thousands of money. Did she want a marriage proposal?

Big mistake.

Most of these guys don’t usually marry their side chics. They are what they are – side chics. Their wives are the inside chics. They know what they do with the side chics – drugs, booze, wild s*x – and would hardly want to do those with the mother of their children.

It is difficult to imagine how this deceptively innocent side chic managed to subdue Ataga who, reportedly, was an amateur  boxer. What type of strength did she have after smoking and boozing? Afterall, according to her, Ataga smoked and drank too.

Not a few people suspect two scenarios. One: that she drugged her victim, made him weak, tortured him, and forced him to release his ATM card and pin number. Or, two: That Chidinma did not act alone. That she had help from one or more people; that this was a cold blooded murder plan from day one. This, now, is Police job, for sadly, Ataga cannot tell his own side of his shameful story, his own side of betrayal and double life.

Here was a man who was married to an accomplished woman – educated, good degrees, top job, beautiful –  with whom he had lovely kids. According to reports, Ataga, 49, was to clock 50, a couple of days to his violent death,  and had planned to travel to Abuja to celebrate with his wife and children. They were waiting for him, obviously, with kisses, cakes and drinks and other delicacies. But, as the saying goes,  Ataga wanted “one for the road” before travelling to meet his family.

He found that in a fatal 21- year old who tortured him to death, and brought untold misery to his family and friends.

Now, he is not in a position to feel the shame. The shame is left, especially, for his wife to feel, to carry, and to bear. She has joined the unenviable league of women whose husbands died in the hands and/or company of other women. Her name is Brenda.

So, tell me, what should Brenda do? Mourn this man – this husband of hers – genuinely? Or curse the day he married him? What will she tell her children, if they are not old enough to understand the shame that their father died because of booze, drugs, s*x and one “baaaaaaad” girl?

That has become Brenda’s lot, her life, a life of heartbreak and unanswered questions. Who will believe her when she says she was a good wife? Already stories are being spun around about her not-too-good relationship with her husband; about her relationship with one Izu, supposedly, Chidinma’s uncle. Stupid, unintelligent stories.

My unsolicited advice to Brenda: Don’t defend. Don’t explain. Don’t talk. Not time yet. The time for that will come. Stick to God, your children and your job.

As for both parents –  Ataga and Chidinma’s?  It’s your worst  nightmare. According to reports, Chidinma’s father found it difficult to believe the Police when they came to arrest her. He tried to resist her arrest. He tried to protect a daughter she thought was incapable of hurting a fly. How was he to know he was living with a murderer in the house? Reports say, for putting up a resistance against his daughter’s arrest, he is in the custody of the Police. I appeal for his release. He is a broken man.

His daughter told him he was going for ‘ushering job.”

She ended up ushering shame and stigmatisation into the family.  Chidinma has, also, given “Ushering job” a bad name.

Now, when young girls tell their parents and/or relations they are off for Ushering job, there will be doubts and inner questions of: “Hmmm, who knows?”

The modern life has turned the lives of parents inside out and upside down. Parents are forced to  tolerate what their parents never tolerated. A number of our mothers were fond of rummaging through our things. When they did, they asked questions on how you got what. Now, no mother would dare. Our children call us old school. They say we live in old times, archaic times. They laugh at us when we shudder at some attitudes. They would publicly, on television, discuss their s*x lives in the name of answering celebrities, and reality show stars. They would say who they had it with, and how it was. And we blush

Many parents dare not correct their children. Their teachers dare not correct them either. One group would flaunt child abuse, and read out their rights for you, atimes, just for telling them to mind the company they keep, or not to go out and stay out late.

A couple of years ago in my house, my younger sister dared ask our  10 year-old nephew to give her his very heavy school bag to check. His response: So that what?

We had a good laugh. He was lucky. My mother of the blessed memory would have given him a slap with the back of her left hand, and my father, a Headmaster, also of the blessed memory, would have given him six strokes of the cain on the buttocks.

Now, we watch, in shock, as children, in their early teenage years, smoke all sorts, video themselves, and upload same on WhatsApp and Facebook. We are helpless. This is what the new age and modernity have wrought on us. No shame. Nothing. Our youths need a complete rebirth and reorientation.

But back to Chidinma, how such a young,  beautiful, innocent-looking girl ruined her life is what still beats me. She is in my prayers. But, more in my prayers are, especially, her parents, Ataga’s parents, and most, especially, Ataga’s wife and her children.

Finally, I wish Chidinma a good measure of what she put Ataga through. She should enjoy it. Why not?

Obi is the Editor-in-Chief/CEO of The Source

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