Kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, after a four-year trial, on Friday got life imprisonment for conspiring with two others to kidnap, the Chief Executive Officer, Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mr Donatius Dunu.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court, who passed the sentence, said Evans and two others did not show any remorse during the trial in spite of huge evidence against them.
According to reports, the Lagos State Government had prosecuted Evans and five others before the court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in a three-hour judgment, Oshodi held that the state proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against Evans and two of his co-defendants – Uche Amadi and Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu.
The judge convicted the trio on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.
He, however, discharged and acquitted the other co-defendants – Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, an ex-soldier; and Victor Aduba, also an ex-soldier, adding that there was no evidence linking them to the crimes.
In his words, “It has to be stated that none of the three defendants showed any remorse during the trial. Despite the huge evidence stacked against them, they tried to lie their way out. The court is also mindful of the harrowing experience of the victim of the kidnapping, to be restrained and blindfolded during the period of his captivity until his escape.
“A lesson must be taught. In this respect, the law is the law which must be upheld. Section 2(1) of the Kidnapping Prohibition Law of Lagos State, 2017 prescribes a punishment of life imprisonment. The court has no discretion.
“In this respect, the first, second and fourth defendants – Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans, Uche Amadi and Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu – are each hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. This is the sentence of the court,” he held.
Lagos State Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, in her response, prayed for a harsh sentence on the convicts to serve as a deterrent.
This is however the first judgment delivered in the five kidnapping trials Evans is facing at the various High Courts of Lagos State.
We will recall that, Evans and his co-defendants were arraigned before Oshodi on August 31, 2017, on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping.
According prosecution, Dunu was kidnapped by Evans and his other gang members on February 14, 2017, on Obokun Street, Ilupeju Road, Lagos State, and was shackled and blindfolded during his 88-day ordeal, collecting a sum of 223,000 euros as ransom from Dunu’s family for his release.