Evans Demands Freedom
Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans, has dragged the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and three others before the Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged illegal detention.
Joined as respondents in the suit are the Nigeria Police Force, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command. In the rights enforcement suit filed on his behalf by a Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, Evans is praying for the order of court to direct the respondents to immediately charge him to court if there is any case against him in accordance with Sections 35 (1) (c) (3) (4) (5) (a) (b) and 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the alternative, he is praying the court to compel the respondents to immediately release him unconditionally in the absence of any offence that will warrant his being charged to court.
Evans is further contending in the suit that his continued detention by the respondents since 10th day ofJune, 2017, without being charged to court or released on bail is an infringement on his fundamental human rights. He argued that the respondents ought to have charged him to court in accordance with the provisions of Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution.
It was further argued that the alleged offence committed by the applicant (Evans) are correspondingly intertwined with the constitutional safeguards as provided under Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution. Evans’ dad deposes to affidavit in son’s support To support Evans’ case, his father, Stephen Onwuamadike personally deposed to a 27-paragraphs affidavit in support of the suit. In his affidavit, Evans’ father averred that his son (applicant) has been subjected to media trial without any court order by the respondents.
He further averred that the media trial and news orchestrated by the respondents have continued to generate reactions in both print and electronic media without his son being afforded fair hearing and trial before a court of law. He added that since his son’s arrest, all his family members have been denied access to him while media practitioners have been granted unfettered access to him.
Thematter has not been assigned to any Judge and no date has been fixed for the hearing. We have court order to hold him for 3 months – the Police revealed, Meanwhile, reacting to the suit, spokesman for the Police High Command, Jimoh Moshood said that the Police had obtained a court order from a Federal High Court, Abuja, to detain Evans for three months, in order to allow them carry out proper investigations on the suspect.
The investigation, according to the police will take operatives to Ghana, South Africa and many parts of the country before he could be arraigned. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Administration, in the Lagos Command, Dasuki Galandanci had told journalists last Friday that the Police is in the midst of a thorough investigation on Evans. He said:
“Evans has been a kidnapper for a long time and has been on the wanted list of the Police in Anambra, Abuja, Enugu, Edo and Lagos States. He also has a criminal gang, some of whom have been arrested in Enugu and Lagos. “But there are still more out there. Therefore, this needs a painstaking investigation. Besides, we need to understudy him as well as debrief him properly. By so doing, we intend to use his tactics to get others. He will eventually be charged to court after investigation is concluded.”
‘He is innocent before the law until proved guilty’ Also, reacting to Evans suit, a lawyer and Don, Gbenga Ojo, said, “It may surprise Nigerians that he had to approach the court, however, in the eyes of the law, he is presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by a competent court. However, as it is, I don’t think any court will grant him bail considering the allegations levelled against him.
“It is the same law that gives him fundamental human rights to seek redress in court that provides that no one can kill other persons unlawfully or kidnap and subject victims to unbearable conditions. So, the court will look at all these before considering to do anything. In my opinion, no court will allow such application to fly.
“However, if the prosecution is not ready to arraign him now due to their investigation, they should take him to the magistrate court to get a remand order, pending the conclusion of their investigation.”