Justice Kayode Ogunjobi of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) yesterday threatened to impose more fines on convicted kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as, Evans, for delaying a £223,000 suit brought against him by one of his victims.
Justice Ogunjobi made the threat after the convict again opened his defence in the case filed by Chief Donatus Duru, who is demanding a return of the £223,000 he paid to Evans as ransom to free himself from the kingpin’s custody.
The judge had already imposed costs of N2.5million on Evans for causing unnecessary delays in the matter.
Chief Duru, in the suit he filed in 2018 is also demanding the sum of N50 million as damages.
At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, a lawyer, Maxwell Chukwuemeka, announced his appearance for Evans, informing the court that he had filed two applications, a motion for change of counsel and a motion for amendment of the defendant’s statement of defence.
Chukwuemeka was appearing in the suit for the first time.
But the claimant’s counsel, David Obiora, pointed out that the defendant has changed his counsel so many times during proceedings but he did not oppose the applications.
Obiora further noted that the court on May 23, 2022, granted leave to the defendant to file his statement of defence, stating that he has not filed any defence but he is seeking the leave of the court to amend a defence he has not filed.
Although Justice Ogunjobi granted the two applications he said, “This matter has suffered several adjournments. The delay is hurting everybody and putting the state at its expense.
“We have been here since 2018 till 2022, at the instance of the defendant. I was awarded a cost of N2.5 million because the delay was unwarranted.
“If there is a further delay, I will award another cost because I don’t see why you have an application to amend your statement of defence and you didn’t come with the amended statement to file it,” the judge stated.
He then adjourned the case to July 13 for the defence to open its case.