By Akinwale Akintunde
According to the second charge, the state will call 12 witnesses – six civilians and six senior police officers – to testify against Evans and Aduba for the alleged attempted kidnap of Obianodo.
The prosecution also listed nine exhibits that it intends to tender, including four rifles, two pistols and bullet proof vests, among others.
Before his first charge could be read last Monday, Evans, through his counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje, drew the court’s attention to his two applications challenging the competence of the charge.Â
At yesterday’s proceedings, Ogungbeje argued that both charges should be quashed and dismissed on the grounds, among others, that they were repetitive and duplicitous.
He also argued that the third and fourth counts on the first charge relating to firearms possession and sale required the fiat of the Attorney-General of the Federation which, according to him, the prosecution did not have.
“Only a court in Uganda, Idi Amin’s Uganda, will entertain this kind of information (charge). This kind if charge can only be filed in a court in Uganda. We are in Nigeria. I urge this court to dismiss the charge against the defendant and allow him to go home”, he added.
Ogungbeje further argued that all 11 counts in both charges were “bad for duplicity, grossly defective, a gross abuse of court’s process and do not disclose a prima facie case” against Evans.Â
However, in its counter-affidavit, the Lagos State Government contended among others that there was no duplicity in the charges.
Shitta-Bey explained that the second to fifth defendants in the new charge were not defendants in charge number; ID/5970C/2017.Â
She stated that apart from the confessional statements of Evans, arms and ammunitions were recovered from him and his alleged cohorts.Â
As to why Evans could not be tried in one court for all the charges, she said: “It is not feasible to bring all the charges before one judge for reasons of logistics and it is going to make the case of the prosecution so complex and difficult to prove.
“We have many victims and witnesses.Â The offences happened at different times, places and spanned over several years. The only common factor is the defendant.”
The DPP also countered Evans’ claim that the prosecution had no fiat from the Attorney-General of the Federation to prosecute the case.
Justice Taiwo, however, adjourned till November 10 for ruling on Evans’ applications.
The judge also ordered that Evans’ three co-defendants on the second charge be moved to Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons.
Justice Taiwo made the order following an application that one of the suspects required medical attention which were better available in prison.
Lagos State Government had on October 19, 2017 re-arraigned Evans alongside and his accomplices on amended two-count charges before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court.