Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey, has accused counsel to the suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike better known as Evans, of frustrating the commencement of the trial of the suspects.
Shitta-Bey made this submission thursday at the resumed proceedings of Evans matter before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja High Court, while responding to Evansâ€™ counsel, Olukoya Ogungbejeâ€™s application seeking that the charges against his client be quashed.
Evans and three others are facing seven-count charge of conspiracy, attempted kidnapping, kidnapping, murder and attempted murder.
The second to fourth defendants are: Joseph Ikenna Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Frank Upong.
According to the prosecution, Evans and his co-defendantsâ€™ offences violate Section 411 Criminal Law Cap C 17, Vol 13, Section 271 (3) and Section 230 (A) Cap C17, of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Shitta-Bey told the court that Evansâ€™ counsel keeps filing applications as a ploy to derail and frustrate the trial.
â€œThe fresh application filed by the 1st defendantâ€™s counsel contains the same elements as a former application which he had initially filed which the court has ruled on. This fresh application is just a ploy to derail and frustrate the trial,â€ Shitta-Bey said.
Responding to Shitta-Beyâ€™s allegations, Ogungbeje expressed displeasure over allegations raised by the prosecution accusing him of trying to stall the trial.
â€œNo my lord, the prosecution are the ones delaying their case. The prosecution knows what we want. They have filed multiple charges and even one of the charges they filed do not even have proof of evidence,â€ he said.
Ogungbeje argued that the basis of his applications before the court is on the procedure applied by the prosecution in filing the charges against his client.
Also, counsel to the 2nd defendant, O. Ogwu, brought an application before the court asking it to dismiss the charges against his client on the ground that he had nothing to do with the victims of the crime.
Ogwu argued that the purported statement made by his client has nothing to do with the charges for which his client was arraigned, adding that the same statement was used in another charge filed before Justice A. Akintoye of an Igbosere High Court.
In response to Ogwu, DPP read to the court the confessional statement of the defendant which reads in part: â€œI followed Evans to an operation in Festac but we did nit succeed as we missed the target. I decided to go into kidnapping business when I was no longer making money in my business.â€
Shitta-Bey then proceeded to explain to the court that there is no law that prevents the prosecution from using the same confessional statement in two different charges.
â€œWe have proven a prima facia case against the second defendant and we urge the court to dismiss the application,â€ Shitta-Bey said.
Justice Taiwo however adjourned the matter till March 21 in order to enable the prosecution file a fresh charge and subsequently move forward, adding: â€œI know that one day, one day we will hear this case.â€