Suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, otherwise known as Evans has pleaded guilty to a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and kidnapping before an High Court Judge sitting today in Ikeja, Lagos State.
Evans and his gang members (Uche Amadi, Ogechi Izechuwku, Okechukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Chukwumonso) were arraigned today before Justice Hakeem Oshodi at the High Court in Lagos by the State government. The court premises witnessed a large crowd of interested parties and the presence of heavy security personnels.
While Evans, Amadi and Nwachukwu pleaded guilty to both counts, Izuchukwu, Ifeanyi, and Chukwunomso pleaded not guilty.
Following the plea of all six defendants, the Attorney General of Lagos state, Adeniji Kazeem who led the prosecution asked for a trial date and for all defendants to be remanded in custody.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka had initially fixed Tuesday to deliver judgment on the suit but a lawyer to the Inspector General of Police and the Nigeria Police Force, David Igbodo, appearing for the first time since the hearing began, said he had filed a counter affidavit before the court.
“It will be an injustice for judgment to be delivered without hearing our own side,” Mr. Igbodo, Commissioner of Police (Legal Section), said.
When speaking to journalists outside the courtroom, Mr. Igbodo said police investigation into the Evans’ case was “almost complete.”
“The case is a very controversial one, it is a sensitive case,” he said.
“The Inspector General of Police devoted time, efforts, intelligence, and strategies to ensure that he was arrested. He beat strategies for the past six years. When he was arrested, it took time for the police to complete investigations and very soon, Nigerians will be made to know what is the next line of action for Evans.”
Mr. Igbodo dismissed claims of the police not having the authority to detain Evans saying they had obtained a remand order from a federal court to hold the suspect in their custody for three months.
“The Inspector of General of Police is a lawyer, in the first instance. He is somebody that respects the rights of every citizen,” he said.
“He has been organising conferences and seminars for the Nigeria Police, both investigators and prosecutors, to make sure nobody is kept in custody beyond 24 or 48 hours without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
“The Inspector General of Police cannot keep Evans without a court order, there is a valid court order that is still subsisting as I speak with you for three months. You know Evans was arrested on the 10th of June; since when he was arrested till now, it’s not up to three months.
The counsel to Evans, Olukoya Ogungbeje had no objections to the Attorney General’s request for adjournment but he told the court that he has had no access to his client in detention.