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Suspected Kidnap Mogul, ‘Evans' Gets New Legal Representative

By Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos 

A new legal representation to appear in court on behalf of popular suspected kidnap merchant, Chukwudumeme Onwumadike, also known as Evans, has emerged.

He is Mr R.B.C Eke. It would be recalled that this is the third counsel ‘Evans' would be engaging in his ongoing trial before a Lagos State High Court, sitting in Igbosere, Nigeria.

When his trial commenced initially, the suspected kidnap mogul had engaged Ogungbeje Olukoya and later Chino Obiagwu (SAN).

On April 10, 2019, when the matter last came up, the court, presided over by Justice Adedayo Akintoye had issued a directive that ‘Evans’ should engage the services of a new legal representative before the next adjourned date.

The judge arrived at the decision as a result of the absence of the then 'Evans' lawyer, Obiagwu (SAN) for the third time in a row which again stalled the ongoing trial  of the alleged kidnap kingpin.

This development prompted Justice Akintoye to direct ‘Evans' to ensure that he gets a legal representative before the next adjourned date.

According to the judge, “If your lawyers don't want to appear, we cannot force them.

"You have three options, you can get another lawyer to represent you or the court can appoint one for you or you can defend yourself.

"This is the last day I will give you to get a lawyer.”

After this statement from the court, the judge then adjourned the matter till May 17, 2019 (today) for trial to continue.

Recall that the suspected kidnap boss is presently answering questions to charges that has to do with conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and attempted murder.

As contained in the first charge, ‘Evans' is standing trial alongside Joseph Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.

In the second charge, he is standing trial alongside Joseph Emeka, Linus Okpara and Victor Aduba.

When the matter came up today, ‘Evans' through his new lawyer, Eke, informed the judge that he had just taken over the case and would need time to study the case file.

Eke consequently urged the court to concede to an adjournment so as to enable him study the case file and be abreast of the court proceedings.

In the mean time and in relation to the second charge, the third defendant, Linus Okpara, also got a new lawyer C. J. Jiakponna, who informed the court that he has a bail application.

But lawyer to the Lagos State government, Y. G. Oshoala, intimated Justice Akintoye that he has not been served with the bail application of the third defendant in the second charge.

As a result of this, the trial court adjourned till June 27, 2019 for the continuation of trial within trial of Evans, on the first charge, and May 23, for the hearing of the third defendant's (Okpara), ball application, on the second charge.

‘Evans' had on January 16, during the trial within trial, denied the confessional statement he made to the Police after his arrest in 2017, saying it was made under duress.

The suspected kidnap merchant also informed the judge that he signed the statement under duress to save him from being tortured to death.

‘Evans' had equally given details of how members of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team allegedly tortured and killed several others, who were paraded alongside him in his presence.

However, ‘Evans' was cross-examined by the Lagos State counsel to prove that his statement was not taken under duress.

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