Evans Faces Fresh Seven-count Charge
Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a suspected kidnapper popularly referred to as Evans, has again appeared before a court in Igbosere area of Lagos State.
The court room again was filled with friends of the court, some of them journalists.
How much interest people have in the trial could be seen from outside the courtroom, which had overflow.
Although not as heavy as the one seen when he was arraigned in Ikeja High Court, the huge security officials' presence leaves one with a conclusion that the man standing trial is a high-profile suspect.
Evans, wearing a blue shirt, was led into the court in cuffs which were removed before the hearing began.
The court room was quiet, with all its seats taken. Journalists could barely find a place to stand, as they struggle to get a glimpse of the man often described as the 'billionaire kidnapper'.
His lawyer had filed two applications, asking the court to quash the trial of the suspect.
While the lawyer put forward reasons the case should be quashed, Evans nods in support of his statements.
After Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, considered the applications, she threw out one of them.
"It lacked merit," she said.
That decision paved way for charges to be put forward against him.
The prosecution team led by the Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Adeniji Kazeem, put two separate charges forward.
First, a two-count charge of kidnapping and possession of firearms, was put forward against Evans and Victor Adubu.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In the second charge, Evans was docked with three other defendants - Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong.
They are facing a seven-count charge bordering on murder, attempt to commit murder, Kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sales and transfer of firearms.
After the charges were read, the prosecution team requested for an amendment to a date discrepancy in the seven-count charge.
That request was granted, but Evans' lawyer raised issues with the process.
"There is no proof of evidence attached in the amended charge," Evans' lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, who did not object to the amendment, said.
He also argued that he had a fresh application filed to quash the charges in case two that had not been treated.
The arguments heated up and the court was once again treated to an altercation between the defence counsel and the prosecuting counsel.
Also Read: Evans Loses In Court Again
A few of that had occurred during his trial at the Ikeja High court on November 3.
Observers of the proceedings and journalists at Igbosere court were startled when both lawyers began to argue.
While Kazeem was arguing against Ogungbaje's application to quash the trial, the defence counsel stood up to make a submission, a practice that is against the ethics of the profession, especially during proceedings.
It took the intervention of the judge to calm the situation, with a caution for Ogungbaje.
She reminded him of the need to respect the tradition, more so because Kazeem was his senior in the bar.
Justice Taiwo, after listening to the arguments from both parties, decided to stand down the matter for about an hour to enable her write her ruling on Evan's application to quash the seven-count charge.
She, however, ruled that the trial on the two-count charge would commence on December 15.