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Trial of Kidnap Kingpin Stalled, As Key Witness Is Involved In Accident

Valentine Chinyem



The trial of Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, an alleged kidnap kingpin, was stalled again on Thursday, as a Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja was told that Idowu Haruna, a prosecution witness billed to testify against Evans, was involved in an accident.

The witness, attached to the Inspector General Of Police Intelligence Response Team, was scheduled to continue his evidence against Evans and his gang members, who were alleged to have shot Obianuju Vincent, Chairman of Young Shall Grow Motors, and killed two of his escorts.

Evans is standing trial on seven counts of murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap, and sales and transfer of firearms. Other members of the alleged gang are: Joseph Emeka, aged 29; Chiemeka Arinze, aged 39, and Udeme Upong, aged 43.

Adebayo Haruna, the state prosecutor, told Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo that the policeman was absent as a result of an accident.

His words: “My Lord, our first prosecution witness is not present in court today. He is not in court because he had an accident. He sent me an SMS message, saying he was involved in an accident and therefore cannot make it to today’s proceedings. We crave the indulgence of the court for another date for the trial.”

During the last proceeding, the witness told the court that Evans shot the businessman in his right arm in an attempt to kidnap him.

Haruna said Vincent was attacked by Evans and his armed gang on his way back from a game house with his convoy on August 27, 2013, at Third Avenue, Festac Town.

Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter till February 6, 2019, for the continuation of the trial.

In a related development, the court also adjourned till February 6 for the adoption of written addresses a trial-within-trial involving Evans and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, accused of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.