Notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, otherwise known as Evans, on Wednesday dragged the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and three others before the Federal High Court in Lagos for alleged illegal detention.
In the suit filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, Evans is praying for the order of court to direct the respondents to immediately charge him to court if there is any case against him in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Joined as respondents with Mr. Idris in the suit are the Nigeria Police Force, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Lagos State Police Command.
In the alternative, Evans is praying the court to compel the respondents to immediately release him unconditionally in the absence of any offence that will warrant his being charged to court.
According to the rights enforcement suit, Evans is challenging his continued detention by the respondents since he was arrested in June.
According to him, his continued detention without being charged to court or released on bail is an infringement on his fundamental human rights, saying that the respondents ought to have charged him to court in accordance with the provisions of Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution.
Furthermore, the suit argued that the alleged offences he committed are intertwined with the constitutional safeguards as provided under Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution.
To support Evans’ case, his father, Stephen Onwuamadike, also deposed to an affidavit in support of the suit.
In his 27-paragraph affidavit, Mr. Onwuamadike averred that his son (applicant) has been subjected to media trial without any court order by the respondents.
He argued that the media trial has continued to generate reactions in both print and electronic media without his son being given the option of fair hearing and trial before a court of law.
According to him, since Evans was arrested, his family members have been denied access to him while journalists and other media personnel have however been granted unchecked access.
PREMIUM TIMES findings however revealed that the matter has not been assigned to any judge and no date has been fixed for the hearing.
But in his reaction, Jimoh Moshood, spokesperson to the Nigeria Police, said that the force had obtained a court order from a Federal High Court, Abuja, to detain the suspect for three months, for proper investigation.
The investigation, the police said, will take operatives to Ghana, South Africa and other places before he (Evans) would be arraigned.
Evans and six of his co-conspirators were arrested and paraded at the Lagos State Police Command earlier in June.
According to Mr. Moshood, the suspects were arrested after officers stormed the kidnappers’ den and engaged in a gun battle which lasted several hours.
Evans was first declared wanted in August 2013 for the attempted kidnap of Vincent Obianudo, the owner of a Lagos-based transportation company. Mr. Obianudo survived the attempt, as police officers foiled the scheme, killing three of his gang members in the process.
According to the police, the gang primarily kidnapped victims in Lagos State but have also kidnapped prominent Nigerians from Northern states.