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Updated: Court Sentences Evans, Others To Life Imprisonment for Kidnapping Bizman

Justices Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Friday convicted and sentenced kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as, Evans, and two others to life imprisonment for conspiracy and kidnapping.

Justice Oshodi handed down the verdict after he found Evans, who is also known as, the billionaire kidnapper, guilty of a two-count charge of kidnapping the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, Donatus Dunu.

Others convicted alongside Evans are Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu.

Read Also: Breaking: Court Convicts Evans, Others for Kidnapping Bizman

The judge held that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the charge against the three convicts beyond a reasonable doubt.

He concluded that the evidence tendered before the court especially the videos evidence collaborated the guilty of the convicts.

In reaching his verdict, the judge further held that he observed the demeanour of the witness. “He showed no remorse in the dock and tried to lie his way out of the crimes despite the video evidence.

The judge noted that in some of the confessional videos exhibits played in court, Evans mentioned some of the other defendants and the roles they played in the crime.

Justice Oshodi pointed out, “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.

“In court, he alleged that the recordings were staged, this is an afterthought and a ploy to escape Justice.

“I, therefore, found the first, second and fourth defendants guild of the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping and they are convicted as charged,” he held.

However, the court discharged and acquitted Ogechi Uchechukw and two former soldiers of the Nigerian Army, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba for lack of sufficient evidence linking them to the crime.

After the court judgment, the defence lawyers pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy by giving the convicts a second chance.

They said that they have demonstrated remorse and were first-time offenders.

But the judge disagreed with the defence lawyers that the convicts have shown remorse, he stated that they are unrepentant and they comfortably lied to the court.

Justice Oshodi, therefore, held that the law must be applied to send the right message to the public that crime does not pay.

He further held, “under the section of the law on which the convicts were arraigned, the penalty for the offence of kidnapping is life imprisonment and the law does not give the court any discretion in the matter. I hereby sentenced the three convicts to imprisonment,” the judge held.

The state had claimed that the convicts committed the alleged offence between February 14 and April 12, 2017.

The prosecution had further told the court that the incident took place at about 7:45 pm, along Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos.

He disclosed that on April 12, Evans alongside the other five defendants while armed with guns and other weapons captured, detained and collected a ransom of 223,000 Euros from Donatus for his release.

The Lagos State government had arraigned them before the court on August 30, 2017 Section 155 subsection 1 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2017, carries life imprisonment.

The prosecution closed its case against the defendants on January 10, 2020, after presenting four witnesses, including Dunu while the defence closed its case on August 3, 2020, after the six defendants testified.

The judge is, however, yet to sentence the convicts as the proceedings are still ongoing.

Evans is also facing similar charges before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo and Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the same court.

15th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph