By Jerry Uwah Lagos–
An application by the defence counsel seeking the dismissal of fresh charges slammed on suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, yesterday stalled his fresh arraignment before a Lagos High Court in Igbosere. Lagos state government brought fresh charges against the suspected kidnap kingpin, but the arraignment was stalled as his lawyer brought an application asking the court to quash the two separate charges.
In the fresh charge, Evans and his co-defendants were accused of murder, kidnap, and attempted kidnap among other offences. In one of the charges, Evans was accused of attempted kidnap of the chairman of Young Shall Grow Transport, Vincent Amaechi. Other defendants charged alongside, Evans are: Joseph Ikenna Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Frank Ukpong.
However, the charge could not be read to the defendants following the application which sought to quash the charges. Evans lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje asked the court to quash all the seven counts charge against him and issue an order discharging him of the charge. The lawyer in the application, argued that the seven countcharge are bad for duplicity, grossly defective and constitute a gross abuse of court processes.
The application was brought pursuant to Section 55 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos state, 2015 and Sections 36 and 6 (6) (b) of the Constitution. He said counts 6 and 7 of the charge were gross abuse of court process as the same offence of firearms had earlier been fi led by the prosecution in charge number; LD/5962C/2017.
According to him, Evans has been erroneously charged with a federal offence and under a federal law by the Attorney-General of Lagos state. However, in its counteraffidavit, the Lagos state government contended that charge numbers; LD/5962/2017 and ID/5970/2017, referred to by the applicant are separate and distinct from the new charges.
It was further argued that the 2nd to 4th defendants in the new charge are not defendants in charge number; ID/5970C/2017.
It was also argued that apart from the confessional statements of Evans, arms and ammunitions were recovered from him and his cohorts. The court presided over by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned till Friday to rule on the application.