By OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos –
An attempt by the Lagos State government to arraign alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans before the state high court in Igbosere on two new charges yesterday failed due to the failure of the state to serve the processes on the defence team.
It would be recalled that the Lagos State government had already filed three separate charges against Evans before Justice Hakeem Oshodi and Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the same court.
But on Monday, the state through the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) brought Evans before Justice Adedayo Akintoye on five count charge of conspiracy to kidnapping, kidnapping and attempted murder.
Evans was charge alongside three others in the first charge: Joseph Ikenna Emeka, Victor Aduba and Okapara Linus.
The offences committed which are contrary to section 411 criminal law Cap C 17, Vol 13, of Lagos State 2015, kidnapping, contrary to section 271 (3) and counts three to five, attempted murder contrary to section 230 (A) Cap C17, of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.
The third defendant’s counsel Emmanuel Ochai, was absent, while the fourth defendant, Okpara Linus had no legal representation.
On the second charge, Evans, was charged alongside Joseph Ikenna Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
They were charged on two-count of conspiracy to kidnapping contrary to section 411, Cap C17, Vol 3 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015 and kidnapping contrary to section 271 (3), of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.
But the planned arraignment could not go on because Evans’ counsel, Ogungbeje told the court that he was only served with one of the informations contained in the charge while second defendant’s counsel O. Ogu, informed the court that he has not been served with the information.
The prosecutor, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, informed the court that she had filed a fresh and amended information which had been served on the first defendant’s counsel Olukoya Ogungbeje, but that she was yet to serve the other defendants’ counsel.
The first defendant’s counsel Ogungbeje who is also representing the third defendant Nwachukwu, told the court that the information that was served on him by the prosecutor doesn’t have the name of the third defendant.
Ogungbeje said, “The information I have doesn’t bear the name of the third defendant, the prosecution should give me every information that is needful and available.”
While responding, to the argument of Ogungbeje, the prosecutor Shitta-Bey said the information has been served on the defendants themselves before their lawyers came into the matter.
“We are going to give him every available information and we would serve everybody,” she stated.
Meanwhile Justice Akintoye, ordered the prosecution to serve the defence counsel with all the necessary information before the next adjourned date.
She also ordered the third defendant, Victor Abuba, in the first charge to make sure that his lawyer appears in court on the next adjourned date, while she also directed the fourth defendant Okpara Linus to also come with his lawyer, otherwise the court will provide him with one.
Akintoye ordered that the defendants in the two charges be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the two cases till November 24, for arraignment.
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