Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

Convicted Kidnapper, Evans, To Open Defence On July 13, In Another Kidnap Case

Convicted Kidnapper, Evans, To Open Defence On July 13, In Another Kidnap Case

A Tafawa Balewa Square High Court of Lagos State, today, fixed July 13 for the convicted kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a. Evans, to open his defence in another kidnap loot case filed against him.

A kidnap victim, Chief Donatus Duru, had in 2018 filed the suit demanding for return of the sum of £223,000 he paid as ransom while in the custody of the kidnap kingpin.

The claimant is also demanding for the sum of N50 million as damages.

At the resumed hearing of the suit today, Mr Maxwell Chukwuemeka, announced his appearance for the convicted Kidnapper, Evans.

Chukwuemeka, told the court that he had filed two applications, a motion for change of counsel and a motion for amendment of the kidnapper’s statement of defence.

Chukwuemeka, was seeking to represent the defendant.

But claimant’s counsel, Mr D. O. Obiora, told the court that the defendant has been changing counsel but did not oppose the applications.

Obiora, however, said that the court delivered a ruling on May 23, granting leave for the defendant to file its statement of defence.

He said that the defendant has not filed the defence but is seeking for leave to amend its defence.

Justice Kayode Ogunjobi, however, granted the two applications.

The judge complained that “this matter has suffered several adjournments. The delay is hurting everybody and putting the state at expenses.

“We have been here since 2018 till 2022, at the instance of the defendant. I awarded a cost of N2.5 million because the delay was unwarranted.

“If there is further delay, I will award another cost because I don’t see why you have an application to amend your statement of defence and you didn’t come with the amended statement to file it.”

The judge, however, adjourned the matter till July 13, for Evans to open its case.

The claimant, Chief Duru, had instituted the suit on the  May 16, 2018 and served the Evans through the Comptroller General of Prison Kirikiri Center of Nigerian Correctional Services, Lagos.

The defendant was initially represented by a lawyer in March 2019 and was accorded every opportunity to defend the suit but failed to do so.

However, when the claimant closed his case on  March 3, 2022, Evans came back seeking leave of court to defend himself.

According to him, he has been in prison custody since August 2017 and was not aware of the pendency of the action.

He stated that he became aware of the suit in 2019 when he was already out of time to file his defence.

He said immediately he became aware of the suit, he contracted a lawyer to defend him.

Evans added that sometime in March, he was informed that his former lawyer had ceased to represent him and had not filed a statement of defence.