Absence of prosecution witnesses stall trials of alleged kidnap kingpin ‘Evans’

The absence of prosecution witnesses, on Wednesday, stalled the two of the trials of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans which he is facing before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports in the first suit, Evans is facing trial alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed member of the Nigerian Army.

The defendants are charged with four counts of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

Evans and the dismissed soldier are accused of kidnapping Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, holding him hostage for at least nine weeks and collecting a ransom of 420,000 dollars from his family.

When the first suit was announced, a state prosecutor Mrs O.A Bajulaiye-Bishi informed the court that the prosecution was unable to serve the summons issued to the witness due to testify, because of the ill health of the lead prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule.

Reacting, Evans’ defence counsel, Mr Victor Okpara, told the court that he was earlier informed of the development by the prosecutor.

“Our learned friend did communicate her predicament to me in the morning.

“However, if there is a repeat of this scenario on the next adjourned date I will have to make the necessary applications to the court,” he said.

In the second criminal suit, Evans is facing trial alongside Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong over the attempted kidnap of Chief Vincent Obianodo, the Chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors.

They face a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sale and transfer of firearms.

When the second suit was announced, Bajulaiye-Bishi, informed the court that the witness Insp Idowu Haruna, Investigating Police Officer (IPO) who was due to continue his testimony in the trial-within-trial was unavailable.

The prosecutor informed the court that the IPO was on official assignment and that he will be “hopefully present” on the next court date.

Responding, the judge noted the slow pace of proceedings. She said that the two cases before she had commenced since 2017.

“This case (the Obianodo kidnap trial) is for the continuation of the trial-within-trial. It appears the prosecution is not ready with their witness.

“The court grants the prosecution the last chance to put its house in order.

“Both cases are adjourned until 5 April for the continuation of hearing,” she said.

NAN reports that Evans is also facing two trials for kidnap before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court and Justice Adedayo Akintoye of an Igbosere High Court.

At the time of this report, he is yet to open his defence in all the trials.

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