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How Evans Used Soldier To Pass Through Police Road Blocks – Witness Tells Court
A member of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Inspector Idowu Haruna, yesterday told an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, how Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike alias Evans, used a soldier as a decoy during his kidnap spree in Lagos. Haruna made this revelation during the ongoing trial of Evans and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, on four-counts of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.
While being led in evidence by Mr Adebayo Haroun, the state prosecutor, Haruna said: “The second defendant (Aduba) was a member of the Nigerian Army. “By the time the first defendant was arrested, he mentioned the name of the second defendant in his confessional statement. “He said whenever they had an operation, he will call Aduba and the army officer while wearing his full uniform and seat at the front seat of their vehicle so that they can pass through police road blocks with ease.”
Haruna noted that when the soldier was apprehended by authorities, he faced disciplinary procedures at the Abati Barracks, Yaba, Lagos, before he was handed over to the police for questioning. The inspector, who also told the court about Evan’s alleged criminal career, said: “The first defendant has been into kidnapping and robbery for a very long time, he started in Edo when I worked there, we arrested about 10 members of his syndicate but he ran to Lagos. “Vincent Obianodo, the boss of the Young Shall Grow Motors, was his first victim in Lagos, during Obianodo’s attempted kidnap, members of his gang were killed but Evans ran away. Evans was in charge of providing the arms and ammunition for his gang.
“He led the operation for the kidnap of Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, he was the driver of the vehicle; he is the sole negotiator of the all the demanded ransom. He never allows other members of his gang to negotiate with victims’ families. “He collected a total of $420,000 from Ahamonu’s family, $200,000 was personally received from Ahamonu’s family in two tranches.
“The remaining $20,000 was collected by Evans from the Ahamonu family for drinks for his boys. Aduba the dismissed army officer confessed to be involved in the kidnap of James Udoji, Ahamonu and one Ucheson, a businessman in Alaba Market.” However, Evans defence counsel, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje and the counsel to Aduba, Mr Emmanuel Ochai, objected to the tendering of the defendants confessional statement on the grounds that the statements were not voluntarily made. Following the objection of the defence, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo ordered a trial-within-trial to determine the voluntariness of the statement. During the trial-within-trial, Haruna narrated to the court how the statements of the defendants were obtained by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, Lagos.
“The statement of Evans was recorded by my team member Sgt. Julius Okundaiye in a very conducive office. “He was seated on a chair, my team members and I were also there, no one offered him anything for his confession and he was not tortured, it was not given under duress. “I was even cracking jokes with him and he was laughing and admitted that his time is up and nemesis had caught up with him. “
After recording the statement, the recorder signed and Evans counter-signed and he was taken to my superior SP Phillips who read it aloud to him and he counter-signed it. The statement of Aduba was also recorded in the same SARS building at Ikeja by Inspector Christian Ogbu. “He cooperated with the police having been a member of the Nigerian Army. After giving the statement, it was signed and counter-signed by both him and the recorder. His statement was recorded freely and not under duress,” Haruna said. Justice Taiwo adjourned the case till July 4 for continuation of the trial-within-trial.