Crime

Defence stalls trial of Evans, Aduba over alleged kidnapping

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The inability of the defence team of the alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, to serve documents on the prosecution has stalled his trial at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Evans is facing trial alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed officer of the Nigerian Army.

The trial, which was slated for Thursday, however, could not hold, due to the inability of Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, Evans’ lead defence counsel, to serve the prosecution team a copy of their final written address for the trial-within-trial.

Mr Adebayo Haroun, the Lagos State Prosecutor, said a copy of the final written address by Mr Emmanuel Ochai, counsel to Aduba, was also served on his team late.

“The parties were to adopt their final written addresses today for the trial-within-trial.

“We were, however, just served yesterday evening by the counsel to the second defendant (Aduba), and we have not been served by counsel to the first defendant (Evans),” Haroun said.

Responding to the prosecutor’s claims, Ajanaku said his inability to file the documents was as a result of a ‘mix up.’

“I got the files mixed up, and I did not realise that this one was pending.

“I assured my learned friend that between today and tomorrow, they will be served,” Ajanaku said.

NAN reports that Evans and Aduba are facing a four-count charge of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

The two 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.

They, however, claimed during the trial-within-trial that their alleged confessional statements were coerced by members of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until Feb. 6, for adoption of final written addresses in the trial-within-trial. (NAN)

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