Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Friday told alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike aka Evans, that he would have to defend himself in his criminal trial if he comes to court without legal representation.
The visibly angry judge noted during Friday’s proceeding that Evans had changed his defence counsel four times during the trial, an action which has slowed the pace of proceedings.
Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba over the alleged kidnap of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, Mr. Donatius Dunu.
The six defendants were arraigned on August 30, 2017, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.
He said: “The first defendant (Evans) informed the court that his lawyer has left and that his people have gone to approach Okpara’s chamber.
“If the first defendant is not represented in the next adjourned date, he will have to conduct his defence himself. The first defendant has himself changed counsel four times during proceedings.
“The first defendant should take this as a warning. This is my ruling on this matter.”
Earlier during proceedings in which the defendants were to open their defence, Only Evans out of all the six defendants had no legal representation.
Upon enquiry by Justice Oshodi, he told the court that his defence counsel had stopped representing him in court.
“My former lawyer is no longer appearing in this matter. My people have gone to the chambers of Victor Okpara to represent me,” he said.
The counsel to Evan’s five co-defendants informed the court that they had filed their respective no-case submissions and had served copies of the court processes to the prosecution.
The state prosecutor, Mr. Adebayo Haroun, confirmed receipt of copies of the no-case submissions and said the prosecution would file its response on March 16. (NAN)