10 November 2017

Nigeria: Evans Pleads Not Guilty

Lagos — Alleged kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans, and one Victor Nonso, Friday pleaded not guilty and challenged the Attorney General ( AG ) Lagos State to prove the case against them.

This followed the ruling delivered by the trial Judge, Justice Taiwo dismissing the motion to quash the charges and ordering accused persons to take their plea.

The duo are standing trial over aĺeged criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, unlawfull possession of 4 riffles and live ammunition and murder of a Young Shall Grow driver.

The offences were aĺlegedly committed within the Lagos jurisdiction .

Evans through his lawyer Ogungbeje had sought to quash the charges, saying that the charges are incompetent and defective.

According to him, similar charges had been filed by the prosecution in the same high court against the defendants, before Justice Oshodi sitting at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja. Ogungbejesaid that the charges will make the wòrk of defence long and clumsy.

Lagos State had filed an opposition saying that the cases are on different facts with different victims. Adding that the defendants participated in various crimes, at different times, places and victims within the same jurisdiction.

In its ruling, the Court held that "having carefully considered all matters. The charge does not offend against Section 152 and 153 of ACJL, Lagos, adding that the count of possession of firearms are not defective, once the charge satisfied the law.

"There is sufficient proof to proceed to trial. There is something worth looking at. On fiat from AGF, fiat has been filed with charge dated 30 Jan. 2017 donated to AG Lagos authoring him to under take prosecution. The pplication is misconceived, lacks merrit and dismissed", the Court held.

The case was adjourned till 15th December, 2017.

It will be recalled that Evans had earlier pleaded guilty to similar charge before Justice Oshodi only to later change his plea to not guilty.


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