The arraignment of suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, on two new separate charges before an Igbosere high court was stalled Monday as the prosecution is yet to complete service on the defence counsels.
The defendants were to be arraigned before Justice Adedayo Akintoye.
In the first charge, Evans was scheduled to be arraigned alongside three accomplices, Joseph Ikenna Emeka, Victor Aduba and Okapara Linus.
The co-defendants in the second charge are Joseph Ikenna Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey told the court that she had a filed fresh and amended information.
She said the amended information had been served on the first defendant’s counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje, but that she was yet to serve the other counsels in the matter.
Shitta-Bey said” The amended charge is the fourth defendant that was added in this fresh charge who is Okpara Linus.
“We only want to bring the information before the court so that he can be remanded in prison in view of the fact that we have not served the other counsels.”
In the first charge, Evans and co- defendants are to face a five count charge bordering on conspiracy to kidnapping, kidnapping and attempted murder, preferred against them by Lagos State.
The offences committed are Conspiracy is contrary to section 411 Criminal Law Cap C 17, Vol 13, of Lagos State 2015, Kidnapping contrary to section 271 (3) while counts three to five, bordered in attempted murder contrary to section 230 (A) Cap C17, of the Criminal Law of Lagos state 2015.
The third defendant’s counsel Emmanuel Ochai, was absent, while the fourth defendant Okpara Linus had no legal representation.
Ogungbeje and the second defendant’s counsel O. Ogu, informed the court that they have not been served with the amended information.
Ogungbeje said that he was only served with one of the information contained in the amended charge.
In the second charge, Evans and his henchmen are to be charged on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy to kidnapping contrary to section 411, Cap C17, Vol 3 of the criminal law of Lagos state 2015 and kidnapping contrary to section 271 (3), of the criminal law of Lagos state 2015.
The first defendant’s counsel Ogungbeje, who is also representing the third defendant Nwachukwu, told the court that the information that was served on him by the prosecutor doesn’t have the name of the third defendant.
Ogungbeje said” The information I have doesn’t bear the name of the third defendant. The prosecution should give me every information that is needful and available.”
In her response, the DPP said the information has already been served on the defendants themselves before their lawyers came into the matter.
“We are going to give him every available information, we would serve everybody” she assured.
Justice Akintoye has however ordered the prosecution to serve all defence counsels with the necessary information before the next adjourned date.
She also ordered the third and fourth defendants Victor Aduba and Okpara Linus respectively listed in the first charge, to make sure that their lawyers are in court on the next adjourned date.
She said if they fail to come with their counsels, the court will be left with no choice than to provide them with lawyers.
Akintoye ordered that the defendants in the two cases to be remanded in prison custody.
She adjourned the two cases to November 24 for arraignment.