Alleged $420,000 ransom: Court orders Evans’s co-defendant to open defence
An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Friday dismissed a no-case submission by Victor Aduba, charged along with kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike (alias Evans).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aduba, an ex-soldier and Evans are charged with
kidnapping a businessman, Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, and collecting a $420,000 ransom from his family.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo ruled that prosecution established a prima facie case against Aduba,
adding that his no-case submission dated Feb. 23 failed.
“I have carefully considered the submissions of the prosecution and the defence.
“The court, at this stage, is not to review evidence of the prosecution but to see whether
the prosecution has enough evidence before the court to warrant the defendant to defend himself.
“Evidence of the prosecution shows that it has sufficiently proven a prima facie case against the defendant and the defendant has a case to answer.
“I hereby dismiss the application of the defence, and order that the defendant should open his defence,” Taiwo ruled.
Defence counsel, Mr Emmanuel Ochai, had argued that prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant.
He, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the charge against his client.
Prosecution counsel, Mr Yusuf Sule, had, however, asked the court to determine
whether the evidence adduced sufficiently linked the defendant to the alleged offences.
NAN reports that Evans had on Feb. 4 opened his defence and denied kidnapping Ahamonu and
collecting $420,000 ransom from his family.
NAN also reports that the judge expressed dissatisfaction at the absence of the defendants on March 28 which stalled their the trial.
The judge adjourned the case until June 15 for Aduba to open defence.
Evans is facing four kidnapping charges at various high courts of Lagos State.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi on Feb. 25, sentenced him and two other to life imprisonment for kidnapping Mr Donatius Dunu, the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd.