After 82 days in police detention, the suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, was wednesday arraigned before an Ikeja High Court.
Evans who was arraigned by the Lagos State Government before Justice Hakeem Oshodi alongside his accomplices on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping, however, pleaded guilty to the charges.
Arraigned with Evans amid tight security within and outside the court premises were Uche Amadi and Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu who also pleaded guilty to the charges.
Others are Ogechi Uchechukwu, the only female among them, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Chukwunonso Aduba who all pleaded not guilty.
Justice Oshodi ordered that all the male defendants be remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison while the female defendant, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges, be kept at the Kirikiri Female Prison.
The prosecution team led by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, prayed the court for adjournment till October 19, 2017 to lay down facts before those who pleaded guilty and subsequently sentence them. While trial would commence for those who pleaded not guilty.
Evans had raked in millions of dollars as ransoms paid to him by his victims’ families before his arrest on June 10, 2017, in one of his mansions at Magodo, Lagos State.
The notorious kidnapper had through his counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje filed for the abuse of his fundamental human rights before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
Evans had contended that his continued detention since June 10 without charge amounted to an infringement on his fundamental human rights.
He argued that the respondents ought to have charged him to court in line with Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution.
A 27-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Evans’ father, Stephen Onwuamadike, averred that the applicant had been subjected to media trial.
The father had said the media trial and news orchestrated by the respondents continued to generate reactions in both print and electronic media without his son being afforded fair hearing and trial before a court of law.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka had adjourned till September 5 to hear arguments from Evan’s lawyer and police lawyers on why he should not deliver judgment on the fundamental rights application brought by Evans.