For kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Monday directed that kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, be kept in prison for another 21 years.
The duo were accused by the Lagos State government of conspiring and kidnapping one Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State.
Evans and his co-accused were also alleged to have captured and detained Hafia and demanded a ransom to the tune of $2m.
Evans’ accomplice, Aduba, who was an ex-soldier, was also sentenced to 21 years imprisonment on a four-counts charge bordering on kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.
But they pleaded not guilty to the four counts made against them by the state government.
Delivering judgment, Justice Taiwo held that the prosecution had successfully proved the case of kidnap and possession of firearms against the convicts.
According to the judge, “It has been established by the prosecution witness (PW3, Ahamonou) that the complainant was kidnapped.
“Pw3 identified the first defendant in court while he was giving his testimony. He also recognised him at the police station nearly two months before the matter was taken to court.
“He testified that he was blindfolded before being taken to the bus. He said, ‘Immediately I saw him, I said this was the person who kidnapped me’ I also watched the video where the first defendant admitted to having kidnapped pw3.
“The first defendant sat in a comfortable chair, and there was no sign that he made the statement under duress. He was not threatened or harassed. He signed the statement.
“He also said how he broke into banks and later graduated to kidnapping. I am satisfied that this court can convict the defendants through his confessional statement.”
Justice Taiwo also held that there was no proof before the court that three of Evans’ men were killed by the police.
The judge further convicted Aduba, based on his confessional statement, and held that he should serve out his term without an option of a fine.
“I have considered the allocutus of the defence counsel. This sentencing will serve as a deterrent to others.
“The two are hereby sentenced to a five-year jail term for the first count, second count, 21 years and third count, five years.
“The sentencing will, however, run concurrently. They are hereby sentenced to 21 years imprisonment without an option of fine,” the court ruled.
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