Cheerful Evans smiling in court on Friday
We reported further that as at 7.30am, not less than 30 heavily armed mobile policemen were spotted marching into the court compound. Others were startegically positioned outside the court premises, even those on horseback.
The suspected kidnapper, Evans, who appeared before Justice Oshodi of a Lagos High Court, sitting at Ikeja at 10 a.m, finally pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping before a judge of the Ikeja High Court.
The Lagos State government who Wednesday, arraigned Evans alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, and Victor Aduba on a two count charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping, said the suspects had conspired on February 14th at about 7.45pm at Ilupeju, Lagos, to kidnap one Donatus Dunu and collect €223,000 for his release.
After he pleaded guilty when the first charge was read, there was a slight pause, and then the judge ordered the court registrar to repeat the question.
Evans repeated the same answer. He also pleaded guilty to the second charge of kidnapping.
Cheerful Evans in court
Amadi, the second defendant, also pleaded guilty to the two counts. Nwachukwu pleaded guilty to conspiracy and not guilty to kidnapping, while Ms. Uchechukwu, the only female in the group, and Messrs. Ifeanyi and Aduba, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned till October 19 for trial of those who pleaded not guilty, and to look at the evidence for those who pleaded guilty before their conviction.
According to the criminal laws of Lagos State, an act of kidnapping attracts life imprisonment while kidnappers whose victims die in their custody get the death penalty.
Earlier, Adeniji Kazeem, the Attorney General of Lagos State, specified that the defendants be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison before the next adjourned date.
“We apply for the defendants to be remanded in custody and to obtain trial dates for the ones that had pleaded not guilty,” said Mr. Kazeem, the lead prosecutor.
“While those that had pleaded guilty, we can come and lay our statement of facts following which your lordship can adjourn for sentencing.”
While adjourning, the judge ordered that the male defendants be remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison while Ms. Uchechukwu be kept at the Kirikiri Female Prison.
After the court proceedings, which lasted about 45 minutes, Evans and the other defendants remained in court for almost two hours before they were taken away in a waiting Prison vehicle.
SOURCE: TORI.NG LINDAIKEJISBLOG.COM