LAGOS, Nigeria – Alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike has opted for plea bargain with the Lagos State Government over his attempt to kidnap a leading transporter in Lagos.
The Defence Counsel to Onwuamadike, Mr. R.B.C. Eke, disclosed this during proceedings at an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Friday.
Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, is standing trial for his failed bid to kidnap Chief Vincent Obianodo, chairman of Young Shall Grow Motors Ltd., one of Nigeria’s leading transport companies.
Eke announced Evans’ plea bargain plans after state counsel, Ms Olayinka Akudo, had told the court that Ubong (fourth defendant) had filed an application for plea bargain.
“We received a plea bargain application on behalf of the fourth defendant dated [Wednesday] October 24, which was yesterday and we received same yesterday,” Akudo said.
Responding, Eke said “the development (the fourth defendant’s plea bargain) came from us and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions will be hearing from us.
“We have the intention to also file a plea bargain on behalf of the first defendant (Evans),” he said.
Mr A.B. Josiah, Defence Counsel to Arinze (third defendant), told the court that Ubong’s proposed plea bargain agreement “does not concern Arinze.
“We have no problem with the court defendant’s plea bargain agreement,” Josiah said.
Arinze and Ubong had no legal representation in court.
NAN reports that proceedings for Evans’ two criminal trials– the attempted kidnap of Obianodo and the kidnap of Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, which were scheduled to hold on Friday were stalled, due to the absence of Insp. Idowu the Investigating Police Officer (IPO).
Explaining Idowu’s absence, Akudo said: “unfortunately we do not have our witness in court. He is outside jurisdiction.
“My lord, we will definitely do the needful during the next adjourned date.”
Responding Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo said: “your witnesses have not been coming to court. This witness is the IPO and he hasn’t finished his testimony.
“There are other witnesses in this case. If the IPO is unavailable, you can call other witnesses for this trial.”
NAN reports that in the Obianodo case, Evans and his three co-defendants face a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sales and transfer of firearms.
According to the prosecution, Evans, Emeka, Arinze and Ubong committed the offences on Aug. 27, 2013 at Third Avenue in Festac Town, Lagos.
Evans and his accomplices are alleged to have killed one Ngozi Chijioke and attempted to kidnap and kill Obianodo.
The prosecution also alleged that in 2008, Ubong sold and transferred two AK47 rifles and 70 rounds of live ammunition to Evans.
In the Ahamonu case, Evans and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, a dismissed member of the Nigerian Army face a four-count charge of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.
Evans and the dismissed soldier are accused of kidnapping Ahamonu, holding him hostage for at least nine weeks and collecting a ransom of 420,000 dollars from his family.
Justice Taiwo adjourned both cases to Dec. 9 for continuation of trial. (NAN)
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