The absence of prosecution witnesses yesterday stalled the trial of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans. Evans is facing two trials before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo Special Offences Court, Lagos High Court, Ikeja.
In one of the suits, Evans is charged with four counts bordering on kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed member of the Nigerian Army. They are accused of kidnapping Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, holding him hostage for about nine weeks and collecting a ransom of 420,000 dollars from his family. When the first suit was announced, a state prosecutor Mrs O.A Bajulaiye-Bishi informed the court that the prosecution was unable to serve the summons issued to the witness because of the ill health of the lead prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule.
Reacting, Evans’ defence counsel, Mr Victor Okpara, told the court that he was earlier informed of the development by the prosecutor. “Our learned friend did communicate her predicament to me in the morning,” Okpara said. “However, if there is a repeat of this scenario on the next adjourned date I will have to make the necessary applications to the court.”
In the second suit, Evans is charged alongside Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong over the attempted kidnap of Chief Vincent Obianodo, the chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors. They are facing seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sale and transfer of firearms.
When the second suit was announced, Bajulaiye-Bishi, informed the court that the witness, a police Inspector, Idowu Haruna, Investigating Police Officer (IPO) was unavailable.The prosecutor informed the court that the IPO was on an official assignment and that he will be “hopefully present” on the next court date.
Responding, the judge noted the slow pace of proceedings of the two cases that commenced since 2017. “This case (the Obianodo kidnap trial) is for the continuation of the trial-within-trial. It appears the prosecution is not ready with their witness. The court grants the prosecution a last chance to put its house in order. Both cases are adjourned untill April 5 for continuation of hearing,” she said.