Absence of lawyer stalls Evan’s arraignment till January
The arraignment of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly called Evans, before an Igbosere High Court in Lagos on fresh charges, was yesterday stalled for the second time due to the absence of his counsel, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye, therefore, adjourned all the cases until January 22, next year for hearing.The first arraignment on these fresh charges was stalled on November 13 because the defendant’s counsel was not served with the fresh information and one of the newly joined defendants had no legal representative.
The Lagos State Government had filed a fresh five-count charge bordering on conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and attempted murder on Evans before Justice Akintoye.
When the case came up yesterday, the prosecutor, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey, told the court that the case was for arraignment, but asked that the case be adjourned.
She said: “This matter is for the arraignment of the defendants. Unfortunately, due to the absence of Evans’ counsel, I don’t think it will be possible.
“Ogungbeje just brought a letter to the court this morning stating that he is at the Court of Appeal and asking for a stand down of the matter till noon.
“We don’t know when he will be here, even when he comes, the third defendant’s counsel, Mr. Jude Igbanoi, is new to this matter and will need time to familiarise himself with the proof of evidence.
“I, therefore, ask the court for a short adjournment to enable counsel study the proof of evidence.”Evans, who was arrested on June 10, this year, and three other co-defendants, Joseph Emeka, Okpara Linus and Victor Aduba, were in court.
Counsel to other defendants, Mr. Ogedi Ogu, Igbanoi and Emmanuel Ochai, did not object to the adjournment. Counsel to the third defendant had earlier told the court that he needed time to familiarise with the case.
They also informed the court that one of the defendants did not have a legal representative.Justice Akintoye, after listening to the arguments, adjourned all the cases until January 22, next year for hearing.
Evans was earlier arraigned before Justice Hakeem Oshodi at an Ikeja High Court in August, this year, and before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of Igbosere High Court, Lagos.
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