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Thursday, 31 August 2017
Lawyer: Police Threaten Suspected Kidnapper Evan To Plead Guilty
Evans (L) and the five other defendants
On Wednesday, suspected kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Omwuamadike, popularly known as Evans pleaded guilty to 2 counts of conspiracy and kidnappingwhen he was arraigned before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos.
He was arraigned alongside five others, four of which pleaded guilty to the charges. The defendants were subsequently remanded in prison.
The judge then adjourned the case until October 19.
According to Vanguard, the leader of the IGP Intelligence Response Team ACP Abba Kyari, who led the operation that got Evans arrested has been listed alongside 9 others as the Lagos State Government’s witnesses.
Lagos state enforces capital punishment for kidnap cases where targets are killed.
His lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, has, in reaction to the plea, said the police threatened to kill his client if he does not plead guilty.
“After the purported guilty plea of our client and the court rose. We stressed to have brief discussion time with our client and he told us clearly that the police told him to plead guilty failure to which the police will kill him.
This is definitely unconstitutional and we intend to challenge this unconstitutional procedure for hoodwink, undue influence, brainwashing and coercing on an accused into entering a guilty plea against his wish and freewill. “He pointedly told us that being informed now, he will change his ‘police motivated guilty plea’ to ‘not guilty’ at the next adjourned date.
It is settled law that plea of guilty must be made voluntary and direct devoid of any influence, coercion and manipulation.
In the meantime, after our brief conferring with our client in open court, he made it known to us that he will change his police motivated guilty plea to not guilty at the next adjourned date. We have a responsibility to assist the cause of justice in accordance with the law,” Ogungbeje said in a statement.