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18 Oct 2017

Billionaire Kidnapper: Evans' In-laws to Know Fate in Illegal Detention Suit

A brother-in-law of suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin, Evans, and his wife are set to know their fate in a few days after filing a suit against the Police.

A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed October 23 for judgment in a suit filed by Okwuchukwu Obiechina and his wife, Nzube, against the police for alleged illegal detention.

Obiechina is said to be a brother-in-law of suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans.

In the fundamental rights enforcement suit before Justice Mohammed Idris, the duo claimed they were arrested and have been in detention since June 2, because of their relationship with Evans.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the Nigeria Police and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad are co-respondents in the suit.

On October 10, 2017, Justice Idris directed the police to produce the applicants in court to show cause why their release should not be ordered.

The judge made the order in a ruling on an ex-parte application filed by their counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

However, during yesterday’s proceedings, Ogungbeje asked the court to vacate the order to pave way for the hearing of the substantive suit.

The lawyer claimed that his clients had been in police custody since June 2, without a court order, in connection with the criminal charge brought against Evans.

He said the respondents’ admittance in their counter affidavit that the applicants were only detained for six days has confirmed his clients’ claims of illegal detention.

Ogungbeje added that the respondents were yet to disclose any reason why they should continue to hold on to the applicants.

However, in his submissions, respondents’ lawyer, Emmanuel Eze, said claims of illegal detention of the applicants did not arise as the police had already secured a remand order from a magistrate’s court.

Eze tendered the remand order to Justice Idris, who directed that a copy be made available to Ogungbeje.

He argued that Obiechina and his wife were arrested by the police on reasonable suspicion of engaging in kidnapping and murder.

Eze further alleged that Obiechina made attempts to interfere in Evans’ trial by demobilising about nine of the trucks that were recovered from Evans.

“He had access to the kidnapper. He removed the brain boxes from the trucks that were recovered from Evans. That’s why he was arrested in October,” Eze said.

He urged the court to dismiss the suit with substantial cost.

After listening to submissions by parties in the matter, Justice Idris fixed October 23 for judgment.

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