A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, yesterday fixed September 26, 2018 for ruling on the admissibility of a confessional statement purported written by suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, Alias Evans
Justice Hakeem Oshodi fixed the date at the resumed hearing of the trail yesterday after entertaining arguments from both prosecution and defence team in a trial-within-trial.
The judge had ordered the trial-within-trial after Evans new lawyer, Chino Obiagwu objected to the move by prosecution team led by Adebayo Haroun to tender Evans purported confessional statement in which he was alleged to have admitted to kidnapping several victims.
Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
The six were arraigned on August 30, 2017, on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, Donatus Dunu, from whose family they allegedly collected €223,000 (N100m) as ransom.
The trial, which last held on June 26, 2018, had been put on hold as a result of the annual vacation of judges.
Obiagwu in his argument told the court that the document sought to be tendered by prosecution through a police witness, Inspector Idowu Haruna is an extra judicial statement and therefore not admissible in law.
He stated that the document in issue is an exhibit and cannot be tendered through the prosecution witness who is not the maker of the document.
Led prosecution counsel, Adebayo Haroun however insisted that the document is admissible noting that section 29 of the evidence act permits the tendering of the document.
In a short ruling, Justice Oshodi upheld the argument of Evans lawyer stating that the document is not admissible.
“The case of Afam and Okeke sighted by prosecution does not apply here. The statement sought to be tendered is not of the witness and therefor cannot be tendered through the witness,” he ruled.
The judge however ordered for trial within trial.
After hearing argument from the prosecution and defence lawyers, he adjourned the matter to September 26, 2018.
Earlier in the trial prosecution witness, Inspector Idowu Haruna stated how Evans and other defendants recounted at the police station how they kidnapped their victims.