Suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike better known as Evans, yesterday complained bitterly in court to his lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje that he and his fellow suspects had been denied food by the Prison Authorities for three days.
Evans, who disclosed before the commencement of his trial said the he and other suspects were locked in a place for three days without food or allowed to bath and change cloths.
“This is unfair, I have not been given food, and change of clothes. I was not given opportunity to bath since Wednesday. I am seriously hungry now.
“They locked us in one place, no food, no bathing,” Evans lamented.
His fellow suspects also confirmed the development even as a senior Prisons official denied the allegations.
Ogungbeje who was visibly angry at the development sought permission to go and procure food for his clients, pleading that only a living person could be put on trial.
Lagos State Government had last month arraigned Evans alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court.
According to the prosecution, Evans and his accomplices committed the offence of conspiracy at 7.45pm on February 14 on Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos.
The prosecution said the defendants between February 14 and April 12 on Obokun Street, Ilupeju, while armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, captured and detained Mr. Duru Donatus.The defendants were also accused of collecting a ransom of 223,000 euros before Donatus could be released.
When the trial eventually commenced, counsel to the 6th defendant, Emmanuel Ochai also corroborated all the defendants claims that they had not been fed or allowed to have their bath in three days.
The trial judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, in respaonse to the allegations by the defendants however raised concerns about their welfare.
Justice Oshodi directed the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey to investigate the defendants’ complaint, adding that “a defendant is innocent until he is proven guilty by a competent court”.
In her response, the DPP told the court that the prosecution would promptly investigate the allegations.
Earlier, during the proceedings, Justice Oshodi dismissed an application by the only female defendant, Ogechi Uchechukwu asking to be released on bail.
In his ruling, Justice Oshodi said he found no merit in her application for bail, noting that the defendant had no concrete base in Lagos and would constitute a flight risk.
“The 6th defendant claims that the police only arrested her because she was the wife of one of the defendants. But according to the prosecution, the No 21, Ishaye Street, Igando apartment where the victims of the kidnapping ring were allegedly kept, was rented in her name.
“In her statement, she claimed that her husband and the 1st defendant were business partners who deal in drugs, claims which need to be proved before this court. I hereby find no merit in this application, and the defendant should be kept in custody for her own safety due to the severity of the case,” the judge ruled.
The matter could however not go on, as the 4th defendant had no legal representation. The judge thereafter adjourned the matter till January 19, 2018 for cross examination of the first witness and continuation of trial.