Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed three separate appeals filed by Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, challenging the jurisdiction of the lower court trying him on charges bordering on kidnapping.
The appellant was also seeking the appellate order to strike out, and quash charges against him.
Delivering ruling on the appeals, the three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Sankey, held that the appeals were devoid of merit. It was hereby dismissed.
“Based on this, the ruling of the lower court is affirmed. I hold that the lower court has jurisdiction to continue with the trial and to entertain all the counts of the charge.
Other justices were Justice Philomena Ekpe and Justice Muhammed Mustapha.
The respondents in the appeal were the Lagos State government, Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, of the state High Court had on November 10, 2017, dismissed an application filed by Evans seeking to quash the seven-count charge contained in the amended information charge dated October 26, 2017,which was filed by the first respondent against the appellant, alongside the second, third and fourth respondents.
The appellant is charged alongside three other defendants (second to fourth respondents), on a seven-count charge dated August 25, 2017, for the offences of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a felony, to wit, kidnap, and attempt to kidnap contrary to various provision of the criminal law of Lagos State 2011.
The appellant, along with his gang members, were alleged to have killed two people in the process of kidnapping one Chief Obianodo.
As a result, the first respondent (Prosecution), filed an information along with its proofs of evidence before the lower court and the pleas of the appellant and the other accused persons were taken; in the course of proceedings, the first respondent amended the charge dated October 26, 2017, pursuant to Section 155 of the administration of Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
Consequently, a fresh plea was taken by the appellant on the amended charge. It was after this that the appellant filed the application, wherein he sought an order of the lower court quashing or striking out the amended information/charge, for being grossly incompetent, non- disclosure of a prima face case, being defective and a brazen abuse of court process.
He raised an objection challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court on the basis that fresh proofs of evidence ought to have been filed and served, along with the amended charge.
After hearing the parties on the application, the trial court in a considered ruling, dismissed the application for lacking in merit.
However, in overruling the application, the trial court directed the prosecution to file and serve on the appellant, another proof of evidence. But the appellant still proceeded to file the appeal on April 24, 2018, wherein he complained of five grounds.
Also Justice Mohammed Mustapha dismissed the appellant’s appeal seeking to appeal the ruling delivered by Justice Taiwo, on November 10, 2017, dismissing his application to quash the four-count charges dated August 25, 2017.
Similarly Justice Philomena Ekpe, also dismissed Evans’ appeal, where he said that Justice Hakeem Oshodi erred in law when he held that the amended information/ charge dated October 19, 2017, filed by the first respondent, was incompetent without an accompanying or attached proof of evidence as required by law.