Court slams life imprisonment on Evans for kidnapping — after four years of trial
By Bolanle Olabimtan
A high court in Ikeja, Lagos has convicted Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, kidnap kingpin better known as Evans on charges of conspiracy and kidnapping.
Evans was tried alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba over the alleged kidnapping of Donatus Dunu, chief executive officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
The six defendants were arraigned on August 30, 2017, on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping.
According to the prosecution, they allegedly kidnapped Dunu in Lagos on February 14, 2017, and collected £223,000 (N100 million) as ransom from his family.
In all, the prosecution presented four witnesses, including the victim, Dunu while the defence presented six witnesses including Evans who testified in his own defence.
Delivering judgment on Friday, Hakeem Oshodi, the judge, convicted Evans, Amadi and Nwachukwu.
The judge held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charge against the three convicts beyond a reasonable doubt.
He held that the evidence tendered before the court especially their video confessions corroborated their guilt.
The court discharged and acquitted Uchechukwu and two former soldiers of the Nigerian Army, Ifeanyi and Aduba for lack of sufficient evidence linking them to the crime.
In his judgment, Oshodi said they did not show any remorse for their crimes and had tried to “lie their way out of the charges” during the trial.
Oshodi said the Kidnapping Prohibition Law of Lagos state prescribed a mandatory life sentence for any individual found guilty of kidnapping.
“He was seen freely laughing and willingly answered questions. A close look at his body shows no sign of torture. He did not look unkempt. He is seen laughing even when he was told that he must be a rich kidnapper,” Oshodi said.
“He showed no remorse in the dock and tried to lie his way out of the crimes despite the video evidence.”
“A lesson must be taught. In this respect, the law is the law which must be upheld.
“The first, second and fourth defendants- Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans, Uche Amadi and Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, are each hereby sentenced to life imprisonment.
“This is the sentence of the court.”