Lagos State Fails To Arraign Billionaire Kidnapper On Fresh Charges

The Lagos State government has again failed in its attempt to arraign billionaire kidnapper Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, on new charges filed at the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere.

The two sets of separate charges are different from those filed before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in the same court and those filed before Justice Hakeem Oshodi at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.

The failure to arraign Evans on Monday, November 13, was due to the inability of the state to serve other defendants in the suit the originating summons.

Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, Evans’ lawyer, informed the court that he was only served with one of the charges contained in the charge sheet.

However, the Lagos State prosecutor, Titilayo Shitta-Bey, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), told the court that she had filed fresh and amended charges, and had served such on Mr. Ogungbeje, but she was yet to serve the other defendants' counsels.

“The amended charge ‎is the fourth defendant that was added in this fresh charge, Okpara Linus. We only want to bring the information before the court so that he can be remanded in prison in view of the fact that we have not served the other counsels,” Ms. Shitta-Bey said.

Evans was charged alongside Joseph Ikenna Emeka, Victor Aduba, Okpara Linus, and Ugochukwu Nwachukwu.

The defendants were charged with five-count charges bordering on conspiracy to kidnap and attempted murder.

The offenses violate Section 411 Criminal Law Cap C 17, Vol 13, Section 271 (3) and Section 230 (A) Cap C17, of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Mr. Ogungbeje, who is also representing Mr. Nwachukwu, told the court that the information that was served on him by the prosecutor did not have the name of the third defendant.

“The information I have doesn't bear the name of the third defendant. The prosecution should give me information that is needed and available,” Mr. Ogungbeje said.

Responding to Mr. Ogungbeje, Ms. Shitta-Bey said the information had been served on the defendants themselves before their lawyers came into the matter.

Consequently, Justice Akintoye ordered the prosecution to serve the defense counsel with all the necessary information before the next adjourned date.

She also ordered Mr. Abuba‎, the third defendant, and Mr. Linus, the fourth defendant, to ensure that their lawyers appear in court on the next adjourned date.

Justice Akintoye ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the two cases till November 24.
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