Kidnapping: Evans arraigned, pleads guilty

The prosecution yesterday pre-empted the N300 million rights suit filed against the police and arraigned suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a Evans, and five others before an Ikeja High Court in Lagos.
The kidnap suspect had filed the suit urging a Federal High Court in Lagos to order the police to either release or charge him to court.

Judgement on the suit was fixed for September.

Evans was arraigned alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba on two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.

Evans pleaded guilty to the charges, while Uchechukwu, the only female defendant, Ifeanyi and Aduba, pleaded not guilty of the offences.

The prosecution led by Lagos state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, told the court that Evans and his accomplices committed the offence of conspiracy at 7.45pm on February 14 on Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos.

The prosecution said the defendants between February 14 and April 12 on Obokun Street, Ilupeju, while armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, captured and detained Mr. Duru Donatus.

According to Kazeem, the defendants collected a ransom of 223,000 euros before Donatus could be released.

After the charges were read to them, Kazeem requested for the remand of the defendants.

“Following this arraignment, we will like to apply for the defendants to be remanded in custody and obtain trial dates for the ones that have pleaded not guilty.

“While for those that have pleaded guilty, we will like to lay out our statement of facts following which Your Lordship will adjourn for sentencing,” Kazeem said.

Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, counsel to Evans, Amadi, Uchechukwu, Ifeanyi and Aduba, told the court that he and his team had not got the opportunity to “confer” with his clients.

“With respect to the application from the learned Attorney-General, we shall not be opposing same.

“However, the defence team just had the opportunity of meeting our clients this morning in court for the first time, we were just served with documents in the open court this morning.

“All the defendants have since been in the custody of the police and we have not had the opportunity of conferring with them regarding the offences which are capital in nature,” he said.

The vacation judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, asked the Attorney-General for his choice of prison for the defendants to be remanded.

“Maximum Kirikiri Prisons, My Lord,” he replied.

Remanding, Evans and his alleged accomplices, Oshodi said: “The first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants shall be remanded in the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons, while the third defendant shall be remanded in the female wing of the Kirikiri Prison.  This case is adjourned till October 19 for trial.”




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