Evans, others trial continues today, Wednesday

[SUN]The trial of an alleged kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans and his co-defendants will today continue before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of Lagos High Court sitting at Ikeja.

The co-defendants are: Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba. The defendants opened their defence last year after court upturned their no case submission.

They were arraigned on August 30, 2017 on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping of Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Ltd, Donatius Dunu in Lagos and collected 223,000 Euros (N100 million) as ransom from his family.

Apart from the case before Justice Oshodi, there are two other cases involving Evans and separate defendants. In one, he is charged alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed member of the Nigerian Army with four counts of kidnapping Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, holding him hostage for about nine weeks, collecting ransom of 420,000 dollars from his family and unlawful possession of firearms.

In the second criminal suit, Evans is facing trial alongside Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong over the attempted kidnap of Chief Vincent Obianodo, the Chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors. They were charged with seven counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sales and transfer of firearms.

According to the prosecution, Evans and his co-defendants committed the offences on August 27, 2013 at Third Avenue, Festac, Town Lagos. They were alleged to have killed Mr Chijioke Ngozi and attempted to kill and kidnap Obianodo. The prosecution also alleged that in 2008, Upong sold and transferred two AK47 rifles and 70 rounds of live ammunition to Evans.

While testifying at the beginning of the trial, Evans stated: “My name is Chukwudumeme Somtochukwu Onwuamadike. I am from Nnewi North Local government in Anambra State. I live at Fred Shoboyede Street, Magodo Phase II Lagos. I am a businessman and I deal in Ornaments and Horlicks”.

When asked if his name or nickname is Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans as alleged by the Prosecution, he replied, “My Lord, my name is not Evans and I don’t have a nickname”.

Evans narrated that he had never met the other defendants before, except on the day the Police paraded them at Area F, Ikeja. The alleged kingpin said: “What I can remember is that on Saturday, 10th of June, 2017, a group of armed Policemen stormed my residence at Magodo. On that fateful day, which was a Saturday morning, I heard some people banging at my gate and I instructed my security guard to find out who it was. The security man returned to inform me that it was the Police, and I instructed him to open the gate for them.

“When he opened the gate, I came downstairs to meet with them. But, immediately I opened my security door, and they rushed at me. The Police Officers that came to my house are: Mr Philip Elelenwa, Mr Idowu Haruna, one Mr Christian and other Police Officers. They asked if I was the one living in the house, and immediately I replied ‘yes’, Mr Philip screamed, ‘Oya get in’.

“They started beating me and hit my head with a gun. I was beaten to the ground. They dragged me back into the house and ransacked my bedroom, my wife’s and children’s bedroom. They searched everywhere, and packed some items out of my house. They brought me downstairs again, and Mr Philip ordered them to handcuff me. Then I began asking them what offence I committed. They told me to shut up that I am a criminal, armed robber, ritualist etc. They called me all sorts of names. I begged them to allow me to call my people but they refused.

“I also told him that I didn’t kidnap anybody, and that I was in my house on that fateful day, which was February 14, tagged as Lovers Day. I told the IPO that if he wants to confirm the truth, he should go to my Estate and investigate.”

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