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Court dismisses Evans’ N200m suit against police over seized trucks

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Court of Appeal, Lagos division Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by suspected kidnapper Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, against the judgment of Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari of the Federal High Court, Lagos over his seized 25 trucks by the Nigeria Police.

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The three Justice of the Appeal Court, dismissed Evans’ appeal for lacking merit.

Evans through his counsel, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1515/17, accused the Inspector-General of Police and four others of unlawfully seizing his 25 trucks and converting them to their own.

Respondents in the case were Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Inspector-General of Police Response Team (IRT), Lagos State Commissioner of Police and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Evans had alleged that the police forcibly seized the trucks from him without court order on June 15, 2017.

Evan had asked the court to award N200 million as general and exemplary damages against the police for the alleged violation of Evans’ rights under sections 36, 43, and 44 of the 1999 Constitution.

But the police, through its counsel, Emmanuel Eze, attached to the State CID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, had urged the court to dismiss the suit as the trucks were proceeds of crime and were exhibits.

The police in a counter-affidavit deposed to, by Inspector Haruna Idowu, said the suspect acquired 11 trucks with proceeds of crime, adding that 10 of them were recovered by the police.

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He said the trucks were listed as exhibits in the criminal charges filed against Evans at the Lagos State High Court.

Idowu said: “The applicant is the notorious and most dreaded armed robber and kidnapper known as Evans, who defiled police arrest for over 10 years and who had terrorised many states of Nigeria with his various gang members. The applicant has no other source of livelihood except armed robbery and kidnapping as so many arms and ammunition were recovered from the applicant during his arrest.

“The applicant had purchased various properties with proceeds of armed robbery and kidnapping. He purchased 11 trucks with proceeds of crime. The police recovered 10 in Lagos, while they were not able to tow the remaining one from Anambra State to Lagos due to the fact that the applicant’s brother-in-law, Mr. Okwuchukwu Obiechina and his wife had tampered with the brain box of the truck in a bid to pervert the course of justice.”

Justice Rabiu-Shagari had on April 19, 2019, dismissed Evans’ suit for lacking in merit.

Dissatisfied with Justice Rabiu-Shagari’s judgment, Evans through his counsel, Ogungbeje, approached the Appeal Court in an appeal numbered CA/L/1105/2018.

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