Lagos court sentences Evans, ex-soldier to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping
A Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja , yesterday, sentenced kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans to 21 years imprisonment, for kidnapping a businessman, Slyvanus Ahamonou and collecting $420,000 ransom from his family.
The trial Judge, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, sentenced Evans along with his accomplice, Victor Aduba, an ex-soldier after finding them guilty for kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.
The court found them guilty of a four-count charge, bordering on kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.
The prosecution witnesses, Ahamonou and his wife, Chimebere had on December 17, 2021, testified virtually. They narrated how Evans and his gang kidnapped him on June 23, 2014 on Kara Road off Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Lagos.
The couple told the court how they sold property, borrowed money and raised funds from family and well wishers to attempt to meet the initial $2million ransom demanded by Evans.
Ahamonou, whose hands and legs were chained throughout his two-month in captivity was only released when the family allegedly gave Evans $ 420,000 ransom and he was at the point of death.
Counsel to Evans, Mr. Amobi Nzelu, in his allocutus, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that the convict was already serving a life jail term. “I pray the court to grant him a lesser jail term.”
While the second defendant counsel, Mrs. Adeola Folarin, also prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as the convict was a first offender.
“He is a young man that has served his country while in the army. He also had a child while he was in custody. He is a father of two young children and they have not enjoyed his fatherly love. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy.”
The state counsel, Mr. Yusuf Sule, however prayed the court to convict the defendants as charged noting that the first defendant had been sentenced to life imprisonment before Justice Hakeem Oshodi. “ I urge the court to sentence the defendants accordingly.”
While delivering the judgment, Justice Taiwo held that the prosecution had successfully proved the case of kidnap and possession of firearms against the convicts.
The judge, who sentenced them without an option of fine, held that the prosecution witness (PW3, Ahamonou) identified the first defendant in court while he was giving his testimony as well as recognised him at the police station nearly two months before the matter was taken to court.
The court upheld the testimony of the PW3 when he stated that he was blindfolded before being taken to the bus.
The judge said she watched the video where the first defendant (Evans) admitted to have kidnapped Pw3.
According to her (Judge), the first defendant sat in a comfortable chair and there was no sign that he made the statement under duress.
He was not forced, threatened or harassed to sign the statement.
“ In the video the first defendant also narrated how he broke into banks and later graduated to kidnapping. I am satisfied that this court can convict the defendants through his confessional statement.