Notorious kidnapper Evans wins first case in court


A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on Wednesday ruled that the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, aka, ‘Evans,’ can proceed.

The court will on August 29 deliver judgment in a N300million fundamental rights enforcement suit challenging Evans continued detention by the police.

Justice Abdul-Azeez Anka fixed the date after taking arguments from Evans’ lawyer Olukoya Ogungbeje and lawyers for the police.

The judge dismissed an argument by the police on Tuesday that the suit was not ripe for hearing, as well as the N300,000 punitive costs sought against Ogungbeje for alleged wrongful service, paving way for parties to state their case.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Commissioner of Police (COP) Lagos State and Lagos State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are the first to fourth respondents.

Counsel for both the IGP and the NPF, Henry Obiazi, urged the court to dismiss the suit for want of merit.

He said the case had to do with murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, which were all capital offences.

Citing Section 35 (7) of Constitution, Obiazi argued that Evans’ fundamental rights were not absolute, adding that the ‘billionaire kidnapper’ would soon be arraigned by the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

“Though the Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of every Nigerian citizen, these rights are not absolute, particularly, when they have to do with capital offences. I urge the court to hold that the application is unmeritorious and dismiss it”, Obiazi said.

In his submissions, lawyer representing the COP and SARS, Emmanuel Eze, argued that Evans had not shown any cause of action against his clients.

He claimed that Evans was arrested by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) set up by the IGP and not by any of his clients.

Eze faulted claims that the applicant was subjected to media trial saying no material fact was placed before the court in that regard.

According to him, the nature of the offences allegedly committed by Evans was conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder.

Besides, he alleged that prior to his arrest; Evans was involved in many robberies, including series of attacks on bullion vans where many policemen lost their lives.

“My lord, it is not up to 90 days that the applicant was arrested. Besides, there is an order of the court for his remand. The applicant is an international kidnapper terrorizing states across the country.

“I urge the court to dismiss this application with punitive costs so as to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to file such frivolous application in the future”, Eze said.

But, opposing their arguments, Ogungbeje, urged the court to hold that the respondents had run foul of the law by detaining Evans since last June 10.

He faulted the respondents’ arguments that a suspect suspected of committing a capital offence can be detained without a court’s order.

According to him, the assertion may be applicable only at the point where the suspect is seeking bail after his arraignment.

“The proper thing for the respondents to do is to have the applicant arraigned and then inform the court about the capital nature of the offence upon which he may then be remanded in their custody”, he said.

After listening to parties’ submissions, Justice Anka adjourned till August 29 for judgment.

In the suit, Evans, through Ogungbeje, is seeking an order directing the police to charge him to court immediately or release him on bail.

He said his detention since last June 10 without charge was a violation of his fundamental rights enshrined in sections 35 (1) (c) (3) (4) (5) (a) (b) and 36 of the Constitution.

For his alleged unlawful detention, Evans wants the court to award N300m damages against the police in his favour. The Nation


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