Saturday 23rd September, 2017
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Police lose objection to kidnap kingpin, Evans in N300m suit

Police lose objection to kidnap kingpin, Evans in N300m suit

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednes­day dismissed the ob­jection of the Police to the hearing of the N300million fundamental rights enforce­ment suit filed by suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudu­meme Onwuamadike, alias Evans.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka, in a ruling on Wednesday, dismissed argument by the Police that the case was not ripe for hearing because the Inspector-General of Police and the Nigeria Police Force were served with court papers in Lagos rather than in Abuja.

Justice Anka upheld the argument by Evans’ lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, that by virtue of Order 5 Rule 2 of the Fundamental Rights Pro­cedure Rules 2009, the IG and the NPF were rightly served through their agents at Alag­bon in Lagos.

The court also agreed with Ogungbeje that Mr Emman­uel Eze, who appeared for the 3rd and 4th respondents in the case, had no right to speak for the IG and the NPF, which were joined in the suit as the 1st and 2nd respondents, re­spectively.

The judge agreed that the coast was clear for the hearing of the suit on Wednesday as there was proof of service on the IG and the NPF, which was exhibited before the court.

Eze’s bid to get an adjourn­ment so as to go and prepare well for the hearing of the case also failed as Justice Anka held that the counsel has had enough time to prepare since June when the case was filed.

Arguing his client’s case, Ogungbeje insisted that the Police had violated Evans’ rights by detaining him since June 10, 2017 without charg­ing him to court.

Ogungbeje contended that the continued detention of Evans without a court order was unlawful and a violation of the suspect’s rights under Sections 35 (1) (c) (3) (4) (5) (a) (b) and 36 of the Consti­tution.

He urged the court to com­pel the Police to charge Evans to court immediately or to release him and let him go if they were not ready to bring him to court and arraign him.

But opposing him, Eze, who appeared for the Com­missioner of Police, Lagos State and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, insisted that Evans’ right were not being violated, because, according to him, Section 35(7) of the Constitution gave the police power to detain a suspected capital offender without any court order.