Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Evans: Police Forced Me To Sign Confession, Says ‘Accomplice’ As Defence Concludes Case

The defence team of Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike suspected kidnap kingpin better known as Evans, and that of his five co-defendants have closed their case before an Ikeja high court.

Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba over the alleged kidnap of Donatus Dunu, chief executive officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Ltd.

The six defendants were arraigned on August 30, 2017, on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping.

According to the prosecution, they allegedly kidnapped Dunu in Lagos on February 14, 2017, and collected £223,000 (N100 million) as ransom from his family.

All the defendants during the criminal trial have maintained their innocence.

While testifying in his defence on January 22, 2021, the first defendant denied bearing Evans as his nickname.

He claimed to be a legitimate businessman and not a kidnapper.

He alleged that he was forced into admitting to the crime after the police killed four individuals in his presence.

“I live at Fred Shoboyede Street, Magodo Phase II, Lagos. I am a businessman and I deal in ornaments and Horlicks,” he said.

“My lord, my name is not Evans and I don’t have a nickname.”

At the court session on Tuesday, Ifeanyi and Aduba, two former soldiers of the Nigerian Army, while testifying, denied being accomplices to the crime.

Aduba said he was ordered by Idowu Haruna, identified as a member of the police intelligence response team (IRT), to sign a written statement admitting to the crime, but he refused.

Showing the court an injury on his body, Aduba said he was taken to a “theatre” where he was beaten and cut with a machete by Haruna.

He alleged that in the days he was in custody, three men — Felix Chinemeren, Paul Samyan and Chukwuma Nwosu — who were initially paraded before the media as kidnappers, were killed by members of the IRT.

“I was still being told to sign some papers but I refused and I said if I refuse I will travel (slang for killed). At that point, Idowu Haruna brought out his phone for me to look at some pictures,” he stated.

“When I looked at it, I discovered it was the dead bodies of the three men with whom I was in custody. That was how I was forced to sign the papers.”

Hakeem Oshodi, the presiding judge, gave the defence 30 days to file their final written addresses, while the prosecution was given another 30 days to respond to the final written addresses of the defence.

The case has been adjourned till November 5 for the adoption of the final written addresses.

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