Evans: Absence of lawyer for suspect stalls trial

Evans
Billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (popularly known as Evans).

The trial of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans, and five others was stalled at an Ikeja High Court on Friday due to the lack of legal representation for one of them.

When the matter was called before Justice Hakeem Oshodi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, the fifth defendant in the matter, informed the court that he was unable to engage the services of a lawyer.

Adebayo Haroun, the lead state prosecuting counsel, told the court that he was aware that Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had visited the Kirikiri prison in respect of legal representation for Evans.

Mr Haroun, however, said he was uncertain whether Mr Shitta-Bey discussed legal representation with Mr Nwachukwu.

Justice Oshodi stood-down proceedings to enable the state counsel to call Mr Shitta-Bey to confirm if she discussed legal representation with the fifth defendant.

When proceedings resumed, Mr Haroun told the court that the DPP said she did not discuss legal representation with Mr Nwachukwu.

Reacting, Justice Oshodi said, “the DPP should be informed formally about the provision of a lawyer for the fifth defendant and proof of service should be submitted in court.

“This case is adjourned till Aug. 15, for a continuation of trial.”

Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Mr Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba over the alleged kidnap of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, Donatius Dunu.

The six defendants were arraigned on August 30, 2017, on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping.

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According to the prosecution, they allegedly kidnapped Mr Dunu and collected 223,000 Euros (N100 million) as ransom.

Four witnesses, including Mr Dunu, have so far testified in the trial on behalf of the state.

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