Fresh trial of alleged billionaire kidnapper, Evans, begins

Evans kidnap kingpin
Kidnap kingpin, Evans, paraded by security operatives [Photo: Punch Newspapers]

A fresh trial of alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, began on Wednesday before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offence Court in Lagos.

Mr. Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, and Victor Aduba, are facing a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

The prosecution’s first witness, Idowu Haruna, while being led in evidence by Titilayo Shitta-Bey, narrated how his team caught Evans and how he led them through his mode of operation.

“I’ve worked in the Inspector General of Police’ Intelligence Response Team for the past five years now,” Mr. Haruna, a police Inspector, began.

“I know the first and second defendant, Chukwudumeme Onwuomadike and Victor Aduba respectively. I got to know them when they were arrested by my team in respect of a kidnapping last year February.”

“We got their criminal hideout through a victim who had escaped and took my team to their hideout.”

” On the 12th of August 2017, having arrested Evans, he mentioned some of his victims who were invited by us. Among his victims was one Sylvanus Ahanonu. He was invited to our office and confronted the first defendant, Evans. ”

“During the interview, Evans explained how he kidnapped Sylvanus in June 2014 and he said he was armed with AK47 during the kidnap. He said after nine weeks of kidnapping Sylvanus, they contacted his family and demanded $2 million dollars in ransom. The family negotiated with them and they agreed to pay $240, 000 which they paid instalmentally.”

“The victim volunteered his statement, the wife of the victim, Chidiebere Ahanonu, who served as the negotiator also volunteered her statement and the brother of the victim, Dominic Ahanonu, who played a role in paying the ransom also volunteered his statement.”

“We videoed the recording of the statements of the first defendant. The video was recorded by Mr. Adesuyi Olanrewaju.”

The prosecution sought to tender a certification from Mr. Olanrewaju but met an objection from Olukoya Ogungbeje, lawyer to Evans, who argued that he was not availed a copy of the certification.

The judge overruled the objection saying it had no bearing on the evidence and was just to fulfill the provision of the Evidence Act.

When the video was sought to be tendered by the prosecution, Mr. Ogungbeje also raised an objection, on the grounds that he was not well equipped to object or approve its admissibility in court since he has “not weighed the compact disc on the background of the certification produced in court.”

Mr. Ogungbeje prayed for an adjournment to enable him to take another look at the video since it had now been certified by the court.

The prosecution had played the video in court to ascertain that it was the same video it served the defence in December.

The judge consequently adjourned the case to April 23 and 27 for further hearing.

The alleged billionaire kidnapper is also facing a similar charge before Hakeem Oshodi, a judge at the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court, where he initially pleaded guilty but later changed his plea to not guilty.


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