Criminal Law

Court to deliver first judgment in Evans ‘kidnap’ cases Feb 25

An Ikeja High Court on Friday, fixed Feb. 25, 2022, for judgment in the trial of alleged kidnap kingpin Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike alias Evans and five defendants accused of conspiracy and kidnapping.

Evans and his co-defendants – Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba are accused of the Feb. 14, 2017 kidnap of Mr Donatus Dunu, the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Contrary to false viral online reports, this is the first judgment to be fixed all the five kidnapping trials Evans is currently undergoing at various High Courts in Lagos.

Evans is facing trial alongside diverse co-defendants before Justices Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court, Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court and Adedayo Akintoye of an Igbosere High Court.

During Friday’s proceedings, Oshodi fixed the judgment date after listening to the oral submissions of the final written addresses of the prosecution and defence counsel.

“The case is adjourned till Feb. 2022 for judgment,” Oshodi said.

Earlier, Evans’ defence counsel, Mr Victor Opara (SAN) while giving his oral submission asked the court to discharge and acquit Evans of the two-count charge.

In a Final Written Address dated Nov. 1, Opara said there was no direct evidence linking Evans to the alleged crimes.

He told the court that Dunu the alleged kidnap victim who was blindfolded throughout his 88-day ordeal did not state to the court in his testimony that he could physically identify Evans.

“There is also the fatality of the prosecution’s case that there was no identification parade to identify the first defendant (Evans).

“There was no evidence before your lordship to show that PW2 (Dunu) had the clear opportunity of identifying the first defendant ” he said.

The lead state prosecutor, Mr Adebayo Haroun via a Final Written Address dated Nov. 30 asked the court to convict the defendants as charged.

On Evans, he said “When a man has confessed to the crime, you do not need an identification parade.

“There is direct evidence of PW2 (Dunu) testifying of how he was kidnapped, how he escaped and the roles the defendants each played.

“We have circumstantial evidence linking the first defendant (Evans) to the crime and we also have confessional statements and video recordings of him.

“We urge your lordship to convict the defendants as charged,” Haroun said.

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