Absence of legal representation stalls Evans’ trial
The scheduled trial of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chuckwueme Onwuamadike, otherwise known as Evans, and others before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja yesterday stalled due to inability of two of the defendants to provide legal representation in court.
When the matter came up for hearing, the two defendants, 2nd and 4th informed the court that they intended to change their counsel.
Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba who are also members of Evans syndicate.
They were arraigned on charges bordering on kidnapping and conspiracy brought against them by the People of Lagos State. They had pleaded not guilty to all the count charge.
The first and third defendants counsel, Nuel Brown who is appearing for Evans and Ogechi Uchechukwu for the first time after Ogungbeje quit the matter announced his appearance.
Mr. A.A Uzouow and Emmanuel Ochai announced appearance for the 5th and 6th defendants but there was no legal representation for the 2nd and 4th defendants.
The court however asked the other two defendants of whereabouts of their counsel; they responded that they intend to change counsel.
Evans counsel and the 3rd defendant therefore prayed the court for an adjournment, to allow him go through the case file properly, so as to prepare for the trial.
He said, “My Lord, we took over this matter two weeks ago and we do not have the proper proof of evidence. With due respect to the honorable court, the learned counsel who was handling the matter before did not do a proper handling over and we have written to the prosecution to avail us with copy of the proof of evidence.
“We have asked the prosecution for the file orally and we will still write formally to that effect.”
The prosecution led counsel, Titilayo Shitta-Bey in her response, prayed the court to grant a short adjournment so as to continue trial with the new counsel.
“In view of the fact that two of the defendants did not have a legal representation, we urge my Lord to grant us short adjournment date.
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