Again, convicted billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, has been sentenced to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia Ahanonu.
This is the judgement of Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Monday while sentencing him alongside a dismissed soldier Victor Aduba.
The judge handed down the verdict to the defendants over the kidnapping of a businessman Sylvanus Ahamonou, collecting 420,000 dollars as ransom from the family.
The judgement is without an option of fine.
She convicted and sentenced Evans and Aduba to five years imprisonment on count one for the offence of conspiracy, and for the second count she sentenced them to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping and five years for unlawfully possession of firearms.
The judge said that the sentence is to run concurrently.
Evans and Aduba were accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30pm on June 23, 2014 at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos and were alleged to have captured and detained him and demanded a ransom of 420,000 dollars.
Evans alongside a dismissed soldier, Victor Aduba, faced a four count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms, offences contrary to Sections 409, 269 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and Section 9 (1) of robbery and firearms (Special Provision Act) law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The Lagos State Government had on December 15 2017 arraigned Evans, and Aduba on the four counts charge for kidnapping Sylvanus.
But they pleaded not guilty to the four count charge.
During trial the prosecution called four witnesses including the victim who testified that a ransom of 420,000 dollars was paid by his brother and wife to secure his release.
The victim testified that he saw Evans before he was blindfolded adding that he was beaten up before and after they put him in the bus.
Sylvanus said on the day he was kidnapped, Evans wore a three quarter jeans short with AK47, there were others with him and one of them was wearing Army uniform before he was taken away in the bus.
The victim testified that when he went to the Police station and they brought out the first defendant two months after the incident, he identified Evans and he started begging him.
The trial judge, Justice Taiwo, identifying two issues for determination, whether the victim was kidnapped and whether the defendants did it.
She found that the victim identified the first defendant during the kidnap and even at the Police station where Evans was said to have apologised to him.
Justice Taiwo also established that there was no evidence of briuses on Evans during his video interview with the Police.
She said, “There was no proof of evidence before the court that Evans was tortured by Abba Kyari’s men.
“In the video interview, during trial within trial, Evans told one Sergent Ekundayo that he was a primary school drop out and that he could not write that the Police officer should help him write his statement.
“I watched the video record where the defendant told the investigation Police officer his escapades, how he breaks into banks to stealing millions and as if he was proud of his escapades and smiled that he was a businessman,” the judge held.
She said that Evans had alleged that the suspects were tortured to death, but that there was no evidence that it was the IPO that caused the death of the suspects or know the cause of the death.
The judge held “I am satisfied that the prosecution was able to prove the case against the first defendant.”
He also testified that the second defendant, Aduba wears his army uniform and helps them pave the way whenever they go for operations so that they can freely leave the town.
The prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the first defendant committed the offence of kidnapping he is hereby convicted and guilty as charged.
It was established that Aduba was a member of the gang which was led by Evans and that his job was to give them safe passage during operation.
The court also considered the confessional statement of the second defendnat, in which the judge narrated from.
“I am an Army officer and I was introduced to armed robbery and kidnapping by one Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (Evans) our gang leader, we have operated five times.
“I have participated five times and we used 4 AK47 rifile to kidnap at Amuwo Odofin after one month. Evans gave me N1m, as my own share of the money. I have made up to N6.5m, in the five times I participated.”
“I found the first and second defendants guilty as charged, I hereby convict them as charged,” the judge said.
Prior to their sentencing, Evans lawyer Amobi Nzela and Adeola Folarin who appeared for Aduba, in allocutos before the judge begged the court to temper justice with mercy.
Adeola Folarin said that Aduba was a first time offender whom the wife gave birth four months into his incarceration and has not seen the child since he was born.
“He is a father of two and a young man that has served this country while in the Army,” she said.
It will be recalled that another judge of the Lagoss State High Court, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, had on February 25, 2022, convicted and sentenced Evans and two others Uche Amadi and Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu to life imprisonment, on a two count charge of kidnapping the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, Donatus Dunu on February 14, 2017.