Again, Suspected Kidnapper Evans Asks Court To Quash Charges Against Him
Suspected Kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans, has again asked a Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island to quash all the charges filed against him by the State Government.
Evans said that similar charges were already pending before another Lagos court, and as such all the charges should be tried by one judge.
The Lagos State Government had brought five fresh charges bordering on conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and attempted murder against Evans and three others.
The three others are Joseph Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
In the second charge, Evans is being tried alongside Joseph Emeka, Linus Okpara and Victor Aduba.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, Counsel to the Evans, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje informed the court that he had filed a motion on notice to quash all the charge filed against his client.
In the motion on notice, Ogungbeje said that all the charges were “grossly defective, repetitive and an abuse of court processes”.
He stated that the prosecution had earlier filed similar charges and amended charges bordering on kidnapping against the same first defendant pending before the same High Court of Lagos State.
He relied on Section 153 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law ( ACJL ) of Lagos State, adding that nothing stopped the prosecution from bringing the charges under one judge.
He said that counts three, four and five were repetitions of same offence.
“Apart from the counts being of same offence, same section of the law is being provided in these counts.
“I submit that the prosecution misfired by bringing different charges and instituting the same case in different courts.
“I urge your lordship to quash the charge because it is defective and an abuse of court process,” Ogungbeje said.
In her response to the motion, the State Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, said: “the general rule is that every offence must be in a separate count”.
Shitta-Bey said that the first defendant was charged with attempt to murder Chief James Uduji, in count three, while in count four, he was charged with attempt to murder Mr Donald Nwonye.
“It will be against the provisions of the law to lump the two offences in one count,” she said.
She said that other charges filed against the first defendant before other judges involved different defendants, different offences and different victims.
She, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the application.
Meanwhile, the third defendant, Linus Okpara, in the second charge, urged the court in a motion on notice to quash the two-count charge preferred against him.
He made the application through his counsel, Mr Jude Igbanoi, adding that the proof of evidence did not disclose any prima facie case against him.
“I will align myself with the arguments made by the first defendant.
“I urge this honourable court to quash the charge, there is nothing in the proof of evidence linking the third defendant to the charge,” Igbanoi said.
The prosecutor, in responding to the third defendant’s motion, told the court that the proof of evidence disclosed a prima facie case against him.
She said the proof of evidence also disclosed where the third defendant admitted collecting the sum of N2 million for the first defendant in relation to one of the victims, Uche Okorafor.
“I, therefore, urge the court to discountenance the third defendant’s argument,” DPP said.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye, after listening to all the arguments, adjourned the case until June 26 for ruling.
The alleged kidnap kingpin was arrested on June 10, 2017, and was in August 2017 arraigned before Justice Hakeem Oshodi at an Ikeja High Court for kidnapping.
He is also facing charges before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of Lagos High Court, Ikeja and Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the Lagos High Court, Igbosere.