You are here
Home > Crime >

Kidnap case: Court orders OPD to defend Evans

173 Views

Kidnap case: Court orders OPD to defend Evans

Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court has ordered the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) to takeover the defence of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike alias Evans.

The trial judge issued the order following Evans’ inability to pay his legal fees.
During resumed proceedings on Friday, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) informed the court that his team placed a phone call to the law chambers of Ladi Williams (SAN) and Co, who represented Evans’ on the last court hearing to know the whereabouts of Evans’ counsel.

Onigbanjo said he was informed by the law chambers that Evans has not “perfected their brief”.

Evans who was arraigned alongside five others on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping has changed counsels about five times during the course of his trial which commenced August 30, 2017.

Some of the lawyers who have represented Evans include Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, Mr Noel Brown and Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku.

In his reaction, Justice Oshodi noted that Evans had developed a habit of engaging the services of lawyers who according to the judge, “disappeared halfway through trial” and this has caused delays in the case.

“There are five other defendants with different counsel, the interest of the first defendant (Evans) is not superior to those of the other defendants.

“The court will not breach Section 36(6) of the 1999 Constitution by going ahead with today’s business of the court which is the hearing of the no-case submissions,” he said.

Justice Oshodi thereafter ordered an OPD counsel who was in court, Ms E. E Okonkwo, to takeover Evans’ defence.

Following the judges ruling, Evans co-defendants -Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba filed no-case submissions asking the court to dismiss the charges against them.

The second defendant, Uche Amadi, however did not file a no-case submission.

The defence counsel Messrs Roger Adewole, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, M.C Izokwu and Emmanuel Ochai told the court that no prima facie case has been made against the defendants by the state.

The lawyers urged the court to dismiss the case against the defendants.

Responding, the Attorney General asked the court to dismiss the no-case submissions of the four co-defendants.

“The defendants are asking the court to do something that cannot be done. They are asking the court to analyse evidence and go beyond the window that no-case submissions requires.

“All that the court needs to do is to show that there is prima facie evidence. There is before the court, legally admitable prima facie evidence enough for the defendants to enter their defence.

“I urge the court court to dismiss all the applications and that the defendants proceed to enter into their defence” Onigbanjo said.

Justice Oshodi adjourned the case until August14 for ruling and possible continuation of trial.

Leave a Reply

Top
%d bloggers like this: