Thursday, September 29, 2022

Evans, accomplice jailed 21 years for kidnapping, collecting ransom

Evans and ex-soldier Victor Aduba were jailed for kidnapping businessman Sylvanus Ahamonou and collecting $420,000 ransom from his family.

• September 19, 2022
Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans
Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans

The Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday sentenced kidnap kingpin Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans to 21 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping a businessman, Sylvanus Ahamonou, and collecting $420,000 as ransom from his family.

Evans’ accomplice, Victor Aduba, an ex-soldier, was also sentenced to 21 years on a four-count charge bordering on kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo held that the prosecution had successfully proved the case of kidnap and possession of firearms against the convicts.

“It has been established by the prosecution witness (PW3, Ahamonou) that the complainant was kidnapped. The question is, kidnapped him?

“Pw3 identified the first defendant in court while he was giving his testimony. He also recognised him at the police station nearly two months before the matter was taken to court.

“He testified that he was blindfolded before being taken to the bus. He said, ‘Immediately I saw him, I said this was the person that kidnapped me’ I also watched the video where the first defendant admitted to have kidnapped pw3.

“The first defendant sat in a comfortable chair, and there was no sign that he made the statement under duress.

“He was not threatened or harassed. He signed the statement.

“He also said how he broke into banks and later graduated to kidnapping. I am satisfied that this court can convict the defendants through his confessional statement,” Ms Taiwo said.

The judge also held that there was no proof before the court that three of the Evans’ men were killed by the police.

She also convicted Mr Aduba based on his confessional statement and held that he should serve his term without an option of a fine.

“The two are hereby to a five-year jail term for the first count, second count, 21 years and third count, five years.

“The sentencing will, however, run concurrently. They are hereby sentenced to 21 years imprisonment without an option of fine,” the judge ruled.

The first defence counsel, Amobi Nzelu, in his allocutions, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that the convict was already serving a life jail term.

The second defence counsel, Adeola Folarin, also prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as the convict was a first offender.

“My lord, he is a young man who has served his country in the army.

“He also had a child while he was in custody. He is a father of two young children, and they have not enjoyed his fatherly love. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy,” the defence counsel said.

However, the state counsel, Yusuf Sule, urged the court to convict the defendants as charged.

Mr Ahamonou and his wife, Chimebere, on December 17, 2021, testified virtually about how Evans and his gang kidnapped him on June 23, 2014, on Kara Road off Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Lagos.

The couple narrated how they sold properties, borrowed money, and raised funds from family and well-wishers to attempt to raise the initial $2 million ransom that Evans demanded.

(NAN)

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