By Adeshola Soyele
The Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has fixed February 25, 2022, to deliver judgment in the case of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as, Evans and five others charged with conspiracy and kidnapping.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi fixed the date after lawyers to Evans and his co-defendants argued and adopted their final written addresses on Friday. The suspect was arrested in June 2017.
The Lagos State government had arraigned Evans alongside Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, and Victor Aduba for allegedly kidnapping the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, Donatus Dunu February 14, 2017.
Evans is also facing similar charges before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo and Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the same court.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
While arguing his final written address, Evans’ lawyer, Victor Opara, urged the court to discharge and acquit his client of the crimes.
Opara argued that there was no direct evidence linking Evans to the alleged crimes and that the alleged victim of the crime did not identify the defendant as the perpetrator of the crimes.
“The victim said he was blindfolded throughout his 88-day ordeal, he did not state to the court in his testimony that he could physically identify Evans,” he said. “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 a clear opportunity of identifying the first defendant.”
But the prosecutor, Adebayo Haroun, urged the court to convict the defendants as charged, saying “when a man has confessed to a 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 each of the defendants played,” he submitted.
“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.”
The prosecution had alleged that Dunu was kidnapped on Ilupeju Road in Lagos State and the defendants collected 223,000 euros as ransom from his family.
It closed its case against the defendants on January 10, 2020, after presenting four witnesses, including Dunu.
The defence, on the other hand, closed its case on August 3, 2020, after the six defendants testified.