The absence of Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, the defence counsel to the alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, has stalled his trials on two occasions over alleged kidnapping before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court had during earlier proceedings stood-down proceedings of the two cases for three hours to await the arrival of Evans’ defence counsel to no avail.
In the first 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 are facing a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sales and transfer of firearms. When the first suit was announced in court, the trial could not commence due to Ajanaku’s absence.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the case until March 6 for continuation of trial. According to the prosecution, Evans and his three co-defendants committed the offences on Aug. 27, 2013 at 3rd Ave., Festac Town in Lagos State.
Evans and his accomplices were alleged to have killed Mr Chijioke Ngozi and attempted to kill and kidnap Obianodo. The prosecution also alleged that in 2008, Upong sold and transferred two AK47 rifles and 70 rounds of live ammunition to Evans.
NAN also reports that in the second criminal suit, Evans alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed member of the Nigerian Army, is facing. They are facing a four-count charge of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms. Evans and the deceased soldier were accused of kidnapping Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, holding him hostage for no less than nine weeks and collecting a ransom of $420,000 from his family.
When the suit was announced in court, Mr I. G. Odihi, Aduba’s defence counsel, told the court that he had filed his final written address in the trial-within-trial on the prosecution.
“The prosecution served us in court today, and we are entitled to reply,” Odihi said. The state prosecutor, Mrs O. A. Olugasa in her response said that Evans’ defence counsel had not served the prosecution a copy of his final written address.
She said that was causing a delay in the proceedings.
“We actually contemplated to serve our replies to the two defence counsel today, but we had not been served the final written address by the first defence counsel.
“As a result, we could only serve the defence counsel to the second defendant,” she said.