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Sale Of Firearms: Court Sentences Evans’ Co-Defendant To Five-Year Jail Term

Shola Shoyele  
Updated March 11, 2022
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A court gavel.

 

The Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced one Udeme Upong, who is standing trial alongside convicted kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, to five years imprisonment 

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo convicted and sentenced Upong after he changed his plea to guilty.

The judge also held that the five-year jail term will start counting from the date he was remanded in prison.

The convict, and his co-defendants, Evans, Joseph Ikenna Emeka, and Chiemeka Arinze were arraigned before the court on a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to kidnap and selling of firearms by the state government on October 23, 2017.

They were alleged to have attempted to kidnap the Chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, Vincent Obianodo.

RELATED: Court Convicts Evans, Two Others Of Kidnapping Businessman Donatus Duru

The case is one of four other cases in which Kidnap Kingpin Evans is standing trial.

At the last sitting of the court, the court was informed that one of the defendants, Chiemeka Arinze had died on November 26, 2021, as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest caused by AIDS.

When the matter came up for hearing today, Upong through his lawyer informed the judge of his intention to change his plea.

Justice Taiwo then ordered the state counsel to review the facts of the case.
While reviewing the fact, the prosecutor, Dr Babajide Martins, told the court that the convict had admitted to the crime in his extrajudicial statement to the police after his arrest in 2017.

He stated that the convict had confessed that he sold two AK 47 and two hundred and seventy live ammunition to the convicted kidnap kingpin.

The lawyer claimed that the convict said he got the weapon from his village where they usually use it for inter-communal crises.

Dr Martins further disclosed that the convict said that they agreed to N400k for the two ammunition but the defendant paid him N200k while sending one Emeka to collect the ammunition.

Dr Martin’s also told the court that the defendant’s statement had been admitted in evidence.

He told the court that the defendant was charged under the Firearm Act Section 92 and punishable under Section B, which stipulates a maximum of five years imprisonment for the offence.

The prosecutor, who stated that the convict had no previous convictions, urged the court to convict him accordingly

In his plea for mercy, the defence lawyer asked the court to see the change of the plea of the defendant as a remorseful act which showed that he had chosen not to waste the time of the court as well as taxpayer’s money

He also urged the court to consider the fact that the defendant has been in detention since July 6, 2017, which is almost the length of his sentence.

In his judgement, Justice Taiwo sentenced the defendant to five years imprisonment, which she held will start counting from the date he was remanded in prison.