Justice Hakeem Oshodi of a high court in Ikeja, Lagos state has now fixed the 25th of February, 2022 to deliver judgment on the case of Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans.
Recall that Onwuamadike is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba over the alleged kidnap of Donatus Dunu, chief executive officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Ltd and collection of £223,000 (N100 million) as ransom from his family.
Evans was rumoured some days ago to have been sentenced to death but there was never any official document or video evidence to back up that claim and the rumour was disregarded as false by factcheck.org
All the defendants who were first arraigned on August 30, 2017, on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping, have maintained their innocence.
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At the resumed hearing of the case today December 10, counsel to Evans, Victor Opara, submitted that there is no direct evidence linking his client to the crime. He told the court that Dunu, the alleged kidnap victim, said to be blindfolded throughout his 88-day ordeal, did not state to the court in his testimony that he could physically identify Evans.
“There is also the fatality of the prosecution’s case that there was no identification parade to identify the first defendant (Evans). There was no evidence before your lordship to show that PW2 (Dunu) had a clear opportunity of identifying the first defendant.” Opara said
He thereafter prayed the court to acquit his client.
However, Adebayo Haroun, lead prosecution counsel, in his final written address dated November 30, had asked the court to convict the defendants as charged.
“When a man has confessed to the crime, you do not need an identification parade. There is direct evidence of PW2 (Dunu) testifying of how he was kidnapped, how he escaped and the roles the defendants each played.
We have circumstantial evidence linking the first defendant (Evans) to the crime, and we also have confessional statements and video recordings of him. We urge your lordship to convict the defendants as charged.” he said
After listening to submissions from both counsels, the presiding judge fixed February 25, 2022 for judgment.