Lawyer to Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (alias Evans), Mr. Victor Okpara, yesterday told Justice Oluwatotoyin Taiwo of Lagos High Court, Ikeja that the Police hastily paraded the suspect without first obtaining his statement and without legal representation.
Okpara said Evans’ capture was celebrated nationwide and was paraded on June 11, 2017. “You immediately concluded that you had arrested a notorious kidnapper before his statement was taken” he told the Police in court. “The statement of the defendant was recorded for the first time on July 1, 2017 and was taken without his lawyer being present. I can also confront you with photographs alleging serious beating of the first defendant (Onwuamadike) while he was in your custody.”
You claim to be a crack detective; in all the other cases, there were video recordings of his alleged confessions. I put it to you that there was a deliberate attempt not to video-record this interview,” Okpara said.
The IPO, in his response, admitted that Onwuamadike’s statement was not taken immediately he was arrested at his Magodo, Lagos residence. Haruna said that he wrote Onwuamadike’s statement and read it aloud to him.
The IPO noted that the first defendant, in his statement, did not say that he would opt out of having a lawyer present.
Haruna also testified that that he never heard of the legal options which could have been available to him such as Legal Aid Council and Justice of the Peace.”
While being cross-examined by prosecution counsel, Mr Yusuf Sule, Haruna shed more light on why Onwuamadike’s statement was not immediately taken by police when he was apprehended.
“Immediately the first defendant was arrested, he gave information on other gang members and his victims which took us a lot of time to investigate. We had to liaise with the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Festac.”