Sunday, January 16, 2022

Evans Trial: Court allows scared witnesses to testify via zoom

One of the two witnesses that refused to physically testify in court is the victim’s younger brother.

• November 29, 2021
Chukwudimeme ‘Evans’ Onwuamadike
Chukwudimeme Evans Onwuamadike

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court has granted permission to two witnesses to testify online.

The witnesses do not want to appear in court to testify against kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans.

During the previous court proceedings on November 8, a state prosecutor, Yusuf Sule, had informed the court that one of the two prosecution witnesses that refused to physically testify in court was the younger brother to one of the victims.

Mr Sule informed the court that the witnesses would prefer to testify over the zoom meeting app.

He added that the state would file an application on the next court date so their testimonies will be heard online.

The judge approved the application by the state prosecutor, S.O Fashola, that the evidence of two prosecution witnesses be heard in court via audiovisual means on Monday.

“This court is satisfied that the prosecution has given cogent reasons why Section 210 of the Evidence Act 2011 and Section 200(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law as amended should avail the prosecution.

“It is stated on the affidavit that the witnesses are concerned for their lives and that of their families and they now live outside the jurisdiction of the court.

“In the light of this and the interest of justice and expedite action, I hereby grant the application as prayed.

“The case is adjourned to December 17 for hearing. The prosecution should ensure that necessary arrangements are made,” he said.

Mr Evans is standing trial alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed soldier. They were charged with four counts of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

Mr Evans and the dismissed soldier are accused of kidnapping Sylvanus Ahamonu, holding him hostage for at least nine weeks and collecting a ransom of $420,000 from his family.

(NAN)

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