Monday, August 8, 2022

Denied! Court Denies Application To Deny Kidnap Charges Against Evans

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 An application seeking to drop the kidnap charge preferred against suspected kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans, has been denied by the Lagos State High Court, sitting in Igbosere area. Evans is currently facing two different charges before the court. The first charge sees him being charged alongside three others: Joseph Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba on five-counts bordering on conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and attempted murder.In his application, the defendant (Evans) stated that ‎all the counts in the charge were “grossly defective, repetitive and an abuse of court processes”. Justice Akintoye, during the resumed hearing today, said that the processes filed by both counsels to the case identified three major issues for determination.  “Whether a prima facie case has been established, whether the charges are incompetent and whether the court has jurisdiction to entertain the charge.”The judge continued saying for prima facie case to be established, the proof of evidence must sufficiently link the defendants with the offence. She said “looking closely at the proof of evidence, a prima facie case has been established. “The statement of one of the victims stated that Evans shot him with a gun, cleaned the wound by himself and asked the third defendant to look after him (victim)”.  Akintoye also noted that the charge was not an abuse of court process, adding that every distinct offence should be charged separately. She, however, stated that the information did not offend the rule of duplicity as enshrined in Sections 152 and 153 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Lagos State. Akintoye said that the charges were not defective nor an abuse of court process, “the charge disclosed different offences with different facts, different victims and different places”.   She added that the; “The defendant must wait until the close of prosecution’s case before filing to quash charge, the application to quash charge and to discharge the defendants is hereby refused and dismissed.  “The application lacked merit, I so hold,” Justice Akintoye ruled. After the ruling, the prosecutor, the Lagos State Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, said in view of the ruling, the Govt wants the defendants to be arraigned. The defendants (Evans is being tried alongside Joseph Emeka, Linus Okpara and Victor Aduba) were promptly arraigned on a 5 count charge for allegedly conspiring among themselves to kidnap one Chief James Uduji, and for collecting a ransom of $1.2 million dollars and for attempts to murder the man. Evans committed the offences on Sept. 7, 2015, at Seventh Ave. Festac Town, Lagos. The charge also stated that the defendants attepted to kill another Mr Donatus Nwoye by shooting him on his hand as well as one Mr Jereome Okezie by shooting him also on his hand and head.  The offences contravene Sections 230 (a) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. The defendants, however, all pleaded not guilty to the charge. Photo Credit: Getty

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