The notorious billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, was re-arraigned yesterday before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.
Evans was re-arraigned together with five other suspected members of his gang, which included a woman, Ogechi Uchechukwu. Others are Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Chukwunonso Aduba.
They were charged for alleged conspiracy and kidnapping of one Dunu Donatus. The defendants changed their guilty plea to not guilty after the amended charge was read to them. They have been in police custody since June 10, 2017.
When the case was called yesterday, the prosecution led by the Director, Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Titilayo Shitta-Bey, told the court they have filed an amended charge against the defendants and served their counsels adding that they are ready to commence trial.
The defense counsels opposed the prosecution, and told the court that the amended charge was served on them yesterday morning in court. They prayed the court for adjournment to enable them confer with their clients and response to the amended charge.
The DPP in its response opposed the defense counsels and urged the court to allow the charges to be read and for the defendants to take their fresh plea. According to her, there was no material change in the nature of the charge against the defendants.
The presiding judge thereafter stood down the case for 45 minutes to enable counsels confer with the defendants. When the proceeding resumed, the court conducted a house screening of the various applications of the defendants’ counsel after which they were all struck out.
All counsels to the defendants prayed the court for adjournment to enable them respond to the amended charge. The judge granted their prayer and adjourned the matter till November 3, 2017 for trial.
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