The trial of alleged kidnapping kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, and five others, properly began before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, yesterday with the prosecution calling its first witness.
The first witness, Mr. Anselem Dunu, is the elder brother of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, Donatus Dunu, who was kidnapped sometime in February this year.
Mounting the witness box at about 3.45pm on Friday, Anselem narrated to the court how his younger brother was kidnapped and was not released until the family had parted with N100m.
The elderly man also said the N100m was changed to €223,000, which was the currency that the kidnappers demanded.
When the trial opened, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bay, who led the state prosecution team, asked Anselem if he recognised the defendants in the dock.
The witness said he recognised the fourth defendant, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, whom he had always known, and then Evans, whom he met later during an investigation by the police.
Apart from Evans and Nwachukwu, the other defendants are Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba.
They were arraigned on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping before Justice Hakeem Oshodi on August 30. The prosecution opened its case yesterday following the court’s dismissal of the preliminary objections filed by Evans, Amadi and Ifeanyi challenging the competence of the charges.
The judge, in three separate rulings, described the defendants’ objections as misconceived and dismissed them.
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