Romanus Okoye and Feyisara Onakoya
There was an unusual heavy presence of security operatives at the premises of Ikeja High Court, Lagos on Friday as the Lagos State prosecuting team concluded its case against billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans and six others over the alleged kidnap of Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Ltd, Donatius Duru in Lagos.
Evans is standing trial along with Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba before Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
The six defendants were arraigned on August 30, 2017 on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.
According to the prosecution, they kidnapped Duru and collected 223,000 Euros (N100 million) as ransom from his family. Evans is also standing trial before two other courts for the alleged kidnap of other victims.
At the resumed trial of the matter, there was noticable increase of security personnel deployed by the police to the court.
While the matter was ongoing, scores of officers from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS) and the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, were sighted within and outside the courtroom. No reason was given for the increased presence of security officers within the court premises.
The Investigating Police Officer (IPO) Insp. Idowu Haruna, had been absent during three previous proceeding. In his concluding testimony, he narrated how Evans spent the ransom he collected from his victims.
He said: “The proceed collected by the first defendant was used for purchasing houses a Magodo Estate Lagos where he was arrested. He also bought a house at Emmanuel Keshi Street in Magodo Estate. He bought a house located in Accra, Ghana. The 1st defendant also bought landed property in Anambra State from the proceed of the ransom.”
At the instance of the counsel to the 6th defendant (Victor Aduba) Emmanuel Ochai, a video clip of Evans’ confessional statement was played in court where he (Evans) claimed that the 6th defendant who is a dismissed soldier did not partake in the kidnap of Duru.
After the testimony of the Insp Haruna, the prosecuting counsel, Adebayo Haroun told the court that the state had concluded its case against the defendant. “My Lord, at the juncture, prosecution would like to close its case against the defendants,” he said.
Justice Oshodi thereafter adjourned the matter to January 31, 2020 for the defendants to open their case.