Suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy and kidnapping at the Lagos High court, Ikeja.
Evans, who was arraigned on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping before Justice Hakeem Oshodi spent 82 days in detention at police station after his arrest.
The Lagos State Government arraigned him alongside five accomplices.
His accomplices are Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.
Evans, Amadi and Nwachukwu pleaded guilty to the charges, while Uchechukwu, the only female defendant, Ifeanyi and Aduba pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were brought to the court amidst tight security within and outside the court premises.
The trial judge, Oshodi ordered that all the male defendants be remanded at Kirikiri Maximum Prison while the female defendant, who pleaded not guilty be kept at the Kirikiri Female Prison.
The judge subsequently adjourned the matter to October 19, for review of facts for those who pleaded guilty and commencement of trial for those who claimed innocence.
This followed the prayers of the prosecution team led by Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, for an adjournment.
Evans had raked in millions of dollars as ransoms paid to him by his victims’ families before his arrest on June 10, 2017, in one of his mansions at Magodo, Lagos State.
The notorious kidnapper had, through his counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje, filed for the abuse of his fundamental human rights before a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, contending that his continued detention since June 10 without charge amounts to an infringement on his fundamental human rights.
He argued that the respondents ought to have charged him to court in line with Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution.
A 27-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Evans’ father, Stephen Onwuamadike, he averred that the applicant had been subjected to media trial.
The father had said the media trial and news orchestrated by the respondents continued to generate reactions in both print and electronic media without his son being afforded fair hearing and trial before a court of law.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka had adjourned till September 5 to hear arguments from Evan’s lawyer and police lawyers on why he should not deliver judgment on the fundamental rights application brought by Evans.
The charge against Evans and his accomplices reads in part: “That you, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (M), Uche Amadi (M), Ogechi Uchechukwu (F), Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu (M), Chilaka Ifeanyi (M) and Victor Chukunonso Aduba (M) are charged with the following offences; Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, to wit; kidnapping contrary to Section 411 Criminal Law CAP C17 Laws of Lagos State 2015.
“Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (M), Uche Amadi (M), Ogechi Uchechukwu (F), Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu (M), Chilaka Ifeanyi (M) and Victor Chukwunonso Aduba (M) on the 14th February 2017 at about 7:45pm along Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, in the Ikeja Judicial Division conspired to commit a Felony to with kidnapping.
“Count 2: kidnapping contrary to Section 271(3) of the Criminal Law CAP C17 Laws of Lagos State 2015.
“Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (M), Uche Amadi (M), Ogechi Uchechukwu (F), Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu (M), Chilaka Ifeanyi (M) and Victor Chukunonso Aduba (M) on the 14th February and 12th April 2017 along Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, in the Ikeja judicial Division while armed with guns and other weapons did capture, detain and collect a ransom of 223,000 Euros from one Dunu Donatus (M) for his release”.
By Chinyere Obia