The Lagos State government on Monday failed to arraign billionaire kidnapper Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, on fresh charges bordering on murder and illegal possession of firearms, as the accused raised an objection to the competence of the charges.
The state accused Evans of kidnapping Vincent Obianodo, chairman of The Young Shall Grow Motors, and killing a policeman attached to Mr. Obianodo during the kidnap operation.
Evans’ lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, contended that his client could not be arraigned until the court ruled on his application challenging the competence of the charges and the court’s jurisdiction.
He said that he needed an adjournment to reply to the prosecution’s reply to his application, as he had just been served its reply on Monday morning.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, presiding over the matter at the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, adjourned till Friday, October 27, 2017, to entertain the application.
The two separate charges on which the state intended to arraign Evans and his co-defendants were separate from the one on which the defendants were re-arraigned last week before Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
Evans, in the application his lawyer filed to challenge the fresh charges, said the new charges were incompetent and should be quashed.
Mr. Ogungbeje argued that the fresh charges were merely duplications of the charges earlier filed before Justice Oshodi in the Ikeja division of the Lagos State High Court.
“Counts 4 and 5 constitute a gross abuse of court processes, as similar charges on the same offense of kidnapping had earlier been filed by the prosecution against the same first defendant in charge numbers LD/5962C/2017 and LD/5970C/2017,” Mr. Ogungbeje said.
He also challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charges, arguing that “the first defendant has been charged with a federal offense and under a federal law by the Attorney General of Lagos State.”
The attorney further argued that the charges did not disclose any prima facie case against his client, describing them as “duplicitous, grossly defective and an abuse of court processes.”