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Convicted billionaire kidnapper Evans re-arraigned, opts for plea bargain

Notorious kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, and his co-defendant, Joseph Emeka, have opted for plea bargain agreement.

The duo was charged with murder and attempted kidnap before an Ikeja high court.

Their re-arraignment was stalled on Thursday due to the absence of Evans’s counsel, but lead state counsel, Mr. Yusuf Sule, informed the court that the defendants had applied for plea bargain.

Sule said the plea bargain option was being considered by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN).

Justice Adenike Coker adjourned the case until June 13 for re-arraignment of Evans and Emeka.

Coker also directed Evans to ensure availability of his counsel in court on June 13.

“In view of the absence of counsel to the first defendant, this case is hereby adjourned until June 13, and the first defendant is directed to ensure his counsel is in court. There is no excuse for his absence.

“In the light of the amended charge before the court, the case against the third and the fourth defendants is struck out,” the judge said.

It may be recalled that Evans and Emeka were to be re-arraigned on an amended five counts of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

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Counsel to the second defendant, Mr. Nelson Onyejaka, was in court.

Sule told the court that he spoke with Evans’s counsel concerning the case and he did not know why he was not in court.

“I am aware that the defendants have applied for plea bargain, but it is being considered by the attorney-general.

“We have an amended charge, my lord, because the fourth defendant has been convicted while the third defendant died in prison.

“We shall be asking for another date for re-arraignment of the defendants,” Sule said.

Evans and Emeka had been standing trial before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo before her retirement.

They allegedly killed Messrs. Peter Nweke and Chijioke Ngozi on August 27, 2013, in Festac Town, Lagos State.

They were also charged with attempting to kidnap the Chairman of Young Shall Grow Motors, Chief Vincent Obianodo.

In February 2022, Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja high court sentenced Evans to life imprisonment for the kidnap of Chief Donatus Duru, the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

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In September 2022, another judge of the court, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, also sentenced Evans to 21 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping a businessman, Slyvanus Ahamonu, and collecting $420,000 as ransom from his family. (NAN)

Adenike Ayodele
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