Judicial Reports

£223,000 ransom: Lawyer wants Evans produced from jail

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£223,000 ransom: Lawyer wants Evans produced from jail

Mr Amobi Nzelu, the new lawyer representing convicted kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a. Evans, yesterday said he had applied to have him produced in court for a £223,000 ransom case.

Nzelu said he wrote a letter to the Igbosere High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) asking that the judge, Justice Kayode Ogunjobi, direct the Comptroller of Prisons to produce Evans in court.

On February 25, 2022, the court’s Ikeja division sentenced Evans and his co-defendants Uchenna Amadi and Okuchuwkwu Nwachukwu, to life imprisonment.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi handed out the sentence to the trio after convicting them on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping of the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Donatus Duru.

The kidnap occurred between February 14 and April 12, 2017.

Duru, in 2018, filed a civil suit before Justice Ogunjobi seeking to recover the £223,000 he paid as ransom to Evans while in captivity for 88 days.

Duru is also demanding the sum of N50million as damages at 20 per cent interest.

But the case has suffered several adjournments following, among others, Evans’ failure to attend the proceedings.

At the last adjournment on June 29, Justice Ogunjobi, who had already imposed costs of N2.5million on Evans, threatened to impose another fine on him, for delaying the case.

Upon resumption of proceedings yesterday, Evans was, again, absent.

Nzelu told the court that on the last proceeding, the court granted his application to become Evans’ counsel.

Nzelu said he wrote a letter to the court asking that the comptroller of prisons be directed to produce the defendant in court.
He expressed surprise that the defendant was not produced.

But the claimant’s counsel, Mr. D. O. Obiora, said the case was adjourned for the defence to open its case.

Obiora expressed dissatisfaction that a copy of Nzelu’s letter was not served on him.

“We are parties in this suit, we should be given a copy of the letter,” he said.

The defence counsel, however, explained that it was an oversight and “was not done to hurt the claimant”.

Responding, Justice Ogunjobi said the letter written for the defendant to be produced in court was not acted upon by the court’s registrar.
He said the case would not go on because the defendant was not present in court.

The judge adjourned proceedings till October 12 for the defence to open its case.

On the last proceeding, Justice Ogunjobi, granted the defendant’s applications to change his counsel and to amend his statement of defence.

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