UPDATE: Evans arraigned, pleads guilty to kidnapping

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Billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, on Wednesday, pleaded guilty to a two count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping brought against him by the Lagos State Government.

Evans promptly and calmly responded, “I am guilty” when the charges were read to him.

Evans was arraigned alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba who are also members of Evans syndicate.

Evans, Amadi and Nwachukwu pleaded guilty to the charges while Uchechukwu, the only female defendant, Ifeanyi and Aduba said they were not guilty.

According to the prosecution led by Mr Adeniji Kazeem, the Attorney-General of Lagos, Evans and his accomplices committed the offence of conspiracy at 7.45pm on Feb. 14 along Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos.

The prosecution said that the defendants between Feb. 14 and April 12, along Obokun Str., Ilupeju Lagos, while armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, captured and detained Mr Duru Donatus.

According to Kazeem, the defendants collected a ransom of 223,000 euros for the release of Donatus.

After the charges were read, Kazeem requested for the remand of the defendants.

Kazeem said, “Following this arraignment, we will like to apply for the defendants to be remanded in custody and obtain trial dates for the ones that have pleaded not guilty.

“While for those that have pleaded guilty, we will like to lay out our statement of facts following which your Lordship will adjourn for sentencing,” Kazeem said.

Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, counsel to Evans, Amadi, Uchechukwu, Ifeanyi and Aduba told the court that he and his team had not gotten the opportunity to confer with his clients.

“With respect to the application from the learned Attorney-General, we shall not be opposing same.

“However the defence team just had the opportunity of meeting our clients this morning in court for the first time, we were just served with documents in the open court this morning.

“All the defendants have since been in the custody of the police and we have not had the opportunity of conferring with them regarding the offences which are capital in nature,” Ogungbeje said.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi however ordered the remand of all the defendants in prison custody.

“ The first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth defendant shall be remanded in the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison.

“While the third defendant shall be remanded in the female wing of the Kirikiri Prison,”

“This case is adjourned to Oct. 19 for trial,” Oshodi ruled.

Speaking to journalists outside the court, David Igbodo a Counsel to the Commission of Police, revealed that Evans still has nine more charges against him.

“We have filed six already before the court and we will still file the remaining in due time,” Igbodo said.

In a related development, there was pandemonium outside the court premises as people besieged the Ikeja High Court hoping to catch a glimpse of the ‘celebrated’ kidnap kingpin.

People stood on parked cars armed with electronic devices recording the events.

Evans who was dressed in a pink stripped shirt paired with black trousers however remained calm as he was flanked by heavily armed security men.

Evans was lifted into a waiting army green prison van, amidst shouts of jubilation from eager onlookers who caused heavy traffic.