An Ikeja High Court on Friday dismissed the claims by the billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans, that he was tortured to admit to his criminal activities.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi, the trial judge, held that there was no proof to back his claim of torture
While ruling in the trial-within-trial conducted on the admissibility of the confessional statement of Evans, Justice Oshodi, after dismissing Evans’ claims, admitted in evidence the confessional statement he (Evans) made to the police on June 11, 2017, after his arrest.
While admitting the statement, Justice Oshodi emphasised that the 1999 Constitution did not require that statements to the police must be in a specific form.
He also stated that the video recording containing the confession of Evans also reflected no proof that Evans was tortured while disclosing details of all his kidnapping activities.
The judge noted in his ruling that the video tape played in court on October 26 last year, that Evans was cautioned and answered appropriately when asked for his profession.
He noted that the suspected kidnap kingpin replied with a smile that he was a businessman.
“In the video the first defendant asked the investigating police officer to write his statement on his behalf, the first defendant sat on a sofa and after the recording of the statement, the first defendant signed. In the video, the court cannot see any coercion directed at the first defendant.
“When the witness for the prosecution was cross-examined, he categorically stated that the first defendant was not tortured when his statement was taken.”
Justice Oshodi said Evans has not provided any evidence to court to back the allegations of extrajudicial killings he made against the police nor did he provide evidence to indicate any inducement, threat or promise in the trial-within-trial.
“The court is not unmindful that the first defendant said he was slapped; cigarettes extinguished on his hands and saw people being murdered by the police”, he noted.
The judge dismissed allegations made by Evans that the police murdered some people as criminal in nature and that they were not substantiated by the defence.
He also noted that Evans showed no proof of treatment for the cigarette burn he claimed to have been inflicted on him by the police.
“The first defendant did not give any evidence as to the treatment of the injuries he sustained. The first defendant did not contradict any part of the video played. There is no proof that the statement was made involuntarily, the statement is admitted and marked Exhibit B,” he said.
The court adjourned the case til February 22 for continuation of the evidence of Haruna and trial.
Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
They were arraigned on August 30, 2017 on two counts of conspiracy and kidnap of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, Donatus Dunu, from whose family they allegedly collected 223,000 Euro (N100m) as ransom.