News

February 25, 2022

Evans, 2 others sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnapping

Evans, 2 others sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnapping

By Henry Ojelu

Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, on Friday, sentenced  Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike (alias Evans) and two others  Uche Amadi, and Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu to life imprisonment for kidnapping a businessman, Donatus Dunu.

Evans and five other defendants — Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba— were arraigned in August 2017 for kidnapping Dunu, who is the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd. on February 14, 2017, and collecting 223,000 Euros as ransom from his family.

Delivering judgment in the case, Justice Oshodi held that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the charge against the three convicts beyond a reasonable doubt.

READ ALSO: Police arrests pharmacist over kidnap

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

Justice Oshodi, however, 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.

He noted the allocutors of the defence counsel Olarewaju Ajanaku and H.O. Ajibola that the convicts are first time offenders, remorseful and learnt their lesson.

But disagreed with the defence lawyers that the convicts have shown remorse.

He held that they are unrepentant and  comfortably lied to the court.

The trial judge also noted the submission of thẹ former DPP, Ms Titi Shitta-Bey that in view of the gravity of the offence and that kidnapping has been on the rise, that maximun sentence bẹ imposed to serve as deterrence to others.

Judgement

Justice Oshodi held that the defendants have not shown any remorse going by the video shown in court.

He said: “I believe a lesson must be taught to serve as deterrence to others.

“The Law is the Law. Section 411 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State (ACJL) 2015 must be applied to send the right message to the public that crime does not pay.

“Under the section 411 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, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, Uche Amadi and Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu to life inprisonment.”

Evans’s counsel, Victor Opara (SAN), while making his final oral submission, in December 21, had asked the court to discharge and acquit him of the two-count charge before it, saying there was no direct evidence linking Evans to the alleged crimes.

But, prosecution counsel, Adebayo Haroun, urged the court to convict the defendants as charged, saying there was circumstantial evidence linking them as well as confessional statements and video recordings of the accused.

Evans and several other alleged accomplices are also facing two charges before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court and another two charges before Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the High Court in Igbosere.

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