A Lagos High Court at Igbosere yesterday heard that suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, prayed for God’s forgiveness after his arrest last year in his Magodo, Lagos mansion.
A police Inspector, Idowu Haruna, told Justice Akintoye Adedayo that Evans was remorseful in police custody.
“The only thing he (Evans) kept saying was that may God forgive him for his sins because he had kidnapped and killed,” Haruna alleged.
Haruna’s testimony followed the continuation of proceedings in the fourth and fifth in a series of kidnap, murder and attempted murder charges brought against Evans by the Lagos State Government.
But only two charges are before Justice Akintoye. Three others are before Justices Hakeem Oshodi and Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja High Court.
In the first charge before Justice Taiwo, Evans and three others – Joseph Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba – pleaded not guilty to a five-count charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and attempted murder.
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In the second charge, Evans is being tried alongside Joseph Emeka, Linus Okpara and Victor Aduba.
Earlier, counsel to the first and third defendants, Mr Noel Brown, prayed for an adjournment on the ground that his lead counsel Mr Chino Ogbiagwu SAN, was with the case file.
But Justice Akintoye denied his application. The judge insisted that the trial should go on, since Brown was part of the defense team and had been present in court since the trial commenced.
Haruna, the seventh prosecution witness in the second charge, identified himself as a member of the Inspector-General of Police intelligent Response team that caught Evans.
Testifying during a trial within trial, the witness said he was the officer assigned to record Evans’ statement, so he cautioned the suspect and asked him if he had a lawyer to guide him during the process.
According to the policeman, who was led in evidence by the state’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Titilayo Shitta-Bey, Evans said he didn’t but that he was ready to proceed.
Evans was not tortured,and volunteered his statement at about 10 am, “in a very conducive environment,” the witness explained.
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Haruna said: “He said he didn’t have any lawyer and that he doesn’t go near lawyers because of what he does.”
The witness alleged that Evans confessed to owning four AK47 rifles, two pistols and shackles (chains), which he used on his victims, and a Lexus Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in which he drove his kidnapped victims to his hideout at 21, Prophet Asaje Close, Igando, Lagos.
Haruna also alleged that Evans told the police that only he negotiated for ransom and also arranged for how to pick up the ransom. He never involved other members of the gang, but that he gave them a small share of the loot.
He said the first defendant told the police that the fourth defendant Victor Aduba, a serving Army Officer, was used during an operation to deceive the police, so they could be granted free passage to and fro their criminal hideout.
The defendants, had through their counsel, Mr Noel Brown, Ogedi Ogu and Emmanuel Ochai, told the court that their statements were involuntary and obtained after they were tortured.
The second defendant Joseph Emeka, in open court told his counsel Ogu, that he was beaten to stupor, before his statement was taken.
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But Haruna, who said the defendants’ statements were taken at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office in Ikeja, Lagos, denied the accusation. He said none of them was tortured, nor under duress when they made their statements.
Justice Adedayo adjourned till November 16, for continuation of trial.
QUEEN AMINA BLOG (ivyukula.com ) gathered from The Nation
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