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Judge to Evans: Get a lawyer or we will get one for you


Proceedings were again stalled Thursday in the ongoing trial of suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans and four others at the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos.

Trial failed to resume Thursday owing to the in ability of Evans to get a counsel to represent him in court.

Also absent in court was the prosecution and the Investigation Police Officer.

A visibly angry trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo told Evans to get a counsel to defend him at the next trial date.

“Make sure you have a lawyer on the April 3. If you do not have a lawyer, we will get one for you. You cannot continue to delay this case,” an angry Justice Taiwo told Evans.

Justice Taiwo also put Legal Aid Council on notice saying that the agency should be prepared to take up Evan’s case if he does not have a legal representation at the next sitting of the court.

Evans is facing trial alongside four others, Uche Amadi, Okechukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Victor Chukwunonso Aduba and Ogechi Uchechukwu.

They are facing a four-count charge of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

The prosecution had accused Evans and others of kidnapping Mr. Sylvanus Ahamonu and holding him hostage for nine weeks and collecting a ransom to the tune of USD 420,000 from his family.

When the case came up yesterday before Justice Taiwo, all the defendants were in court and represented by their counsels, except Evans.

The development forced Justice Taiwo to adjourn to April 3 for continuation of trial.

Responding to absence of the prosecution and IPO in court, counsel to the second defendant, N.C. Oyejiaka attributed long adjournment of the case to continued absence of prosecution and IPO.

“My Lord, we have been foisted with long adjournment as a result of absence of IPO and prosecution. They are acting in concert.

“Ordinarily I will have raised an application but due to their absence, I asked that the records of the court be strengthened,” he said.

Responding, Justice Taiwo who noted that absence of counsel to the first defendant has stalled trial in the past said the court will no longer allow him continue to delay trial of the case.

During the last proceedings on January 11 the videos evidence of Evans confessing to committing crimes of kidnapping and armed robbery within and outside Lagos were shown in court.

The footage in two compact discs was aired during the testimony of Inspector Idowu Haruna, a member of the Police Intelligence Response Team.

The videos which were projected on the wall of the courtroom showed Evans wearing a red T-shirt, seated on a leather sofa in a room and confessing his crimes to Haruna.

He could be seen smiling and telling the policeman about his daytime and nighttime armed robberies of banks as well as his kidnap escapades where ransom ranging from 250,000 dollars to one million dollars was received from his victims.

The Nation

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