Almost five years after he was arraigned on two separate kidnapping-related charges before Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the Igbosere High Court, Lagos, convicted “billionaire kidnapper” Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans was Thursday brought before another judge.
Evans alongside Joseph Emeka, Victor Aduba and Okapara Linus were arraigned afresh by the Lagos State Government before Justice Ibironke Harrison of the Lagos State High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).
The defendants will be tried on a five-count charge of conspiracy, kidnapping, and attempted murder for allegedly kidnapping Chief James Uduji and extorting a ransom of $1.2million from him.
They, and others at large, allegedly committed the offences on September 7, 2015 at 7th Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos.
The defendants were also accused of attempted murder by allegedly firing shots at Uduji, and Donatus Nwoye which hit him on the hand and again shot one Mr. Jereome Okezie on the hand and head.
When the matter came up for re-arraignmemt, Mr H. Owokoniran announced his appearance for prosecution, while Mr. Nelson Onyejiaka held the brief of Evans’ lawyer who was absent. Onyejiaka also appeared for the 2nd defendant.
Mr. A. K. Orajiuka, appeared for the 3rd defendant, while Mr. Emmanuel Ochai appeared for the 4th defendant.
According to the prosecution, the offences contravened Sections 411, 271 (3) and 230 (A) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The defendants pleaded not guilty.
The judge remanded all defendants in prison custody and adjourned till May 3 and 4, 2023 for trial.
The case is starting de novo (anew) after one of the defendants’ case files were transferred to Justice Harrison following Justice Akintoye’s retirement from the bench.
The other case files were transferred to Justice Sherifat Sonaike also of the Lagos State High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).
The kidnap kingpin was arrested on June 10, 2017.
Evans was in 2018 arraigned before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court for kidnapping the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Donatus Dunu on February 14, 2017, and collecting 223,000 Euros as ransom from his family
Justice Oshodi, on February 25, 2022, found Evans and two others guilty of kidnapping.
READ ALSO: Court Orders Evans To Refund €233,000, N50Million ransom To Abducted Victim
The judge sentenced Evans to life imprisonment.
Evans was also arraigned for kidnapping before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of Igbosere High Court, before the judge was transferred to the Ikeja division.
He and his co-defendant Victor Aduba were accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos and were alleged to have captured and detained Hafia and demanded a ransom of $2million.
Justice Taiwo on September 19, 2022, sentenced the duo to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping Hafia.