Alleged Kidnapper, Evans’s, Co-defendant, Arinze, dies in prison custody

Alleged Kidnapper, Evans's, co-defendants dies in prison custody Evans and Co-defendants in Court

A co-defendant in the trial of alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (popularly known as Evans) fell into a coma before his death.

Chiemeka Arinze’s lawyer, Ogedi Ogu, revealed this before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court In Ikeja on Monday.

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The 45-year old was standing trial alongside Evans, as well as one Joseph Emeka and Udeme Upong for the attempted kidnap of the chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, Vincent Obianodo.

Addressing the court on Monday, Mr Ogu narrated the events leading to his client’s death
“He was rushed to a hospital from Kirikiri Correctional Centre on Thursday. I visited him on Friday and he was in a coma on that day,” Mr Ogu said.
“I left there around 4p.m., and at about 9p.m. they called me and informed me that he had died.
“Doctors informed me that they were going to run some tests about the cause of his death; the results are going to come out on Saturday,” he said.
Responding, Justice Taiwo said the court was already in possession of Mr Arinze’s death certificate, and described the death as unfortunate.
“The death certificate here says the cause of death is cardiopulmonary arrest and the secondary cause is HIV; It is from the Ajeromi General Hospital,” the judge said.

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The judge said the trial must continue, and asked other defence counsel to adopt their written addresses on a trial-within-trial in the case.

Following adoption of the written addresses, the judge adjourned the case until December 17 for ruling and further hearing.

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The defendants face a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap and sale and transfer of firearms.

In A related case involving Evans also being heard by Justice Taiwo, the court ruled that two witnesses who fear coming to court to testify against the alleged kidnap kingpin
can testify online.

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Justice Taiwo gave the approval following an application by the state prosecutor, Ms S.O. Fashola that the evidence of two prosecution witnesses be heard in court via audiovisual means.

“This court is satisfied that the prosecution has given cogent reasons why Section 210 of the Evidence Act 2011 and Section 200(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law as amended should avail the prosecution.

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“It is stated on the affidavit that the witnesses are concerned for their lives and that of their families and they now live outside the jurisdiction of the court.

“In the light of this and in the interest of justice and expedite action, I hereby grant the application as prayed.

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The case was also adjourned to Dec. 17 for hearing.

Evans is standing trial alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed member of the Nigerian Army. They are charged with four-counts of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

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Both men are accused of kidnapping One Sylvanus Ahamonu, holding him hostage for at least nine weeks and collecting a ransom of 420,000 dollars from his family.

Evans is also standing trial before another judge, Hakeem Oshodi of the State High Court In Ikeja, for the Feb. 14, 2017 kidnap of the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Donatus Dunu.

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Evans and his five co-defendants are; Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba.

According to the prosecution, and Dunu was kidnapped on Ilupeju Road, Lagos and the defendants allegedly collected 223,000 Euros as ransom from Mr Dunu’s family.

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The case was adjourned until December 10 for adoption of final written addresses.

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