By Christopher Oji
Suspected billionaire kiidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans, has started a court battle to regain freedom, as he has filed a suit against the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over his continued detention.
Evans, who seeks to compel the IGP to either charge him to court or release him from custody, also joined the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Owoseni; the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos Command and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in the fundamental rights enforcement suit.
In a motion ex-parte filed before the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday by his lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, Evans claimed that he has been detained by the police since June 10, 2017, and subjected to media trial and parade without any court order.
The suspected kidnapper said there has been grave constitutional infraction perpetrated by the respondents against him, as he ought to have been charged or arraigned before a court, in accordance with sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also posited that he has the right, under Section 46 of the 1999 Constitution, to approach the court for redress for the breach of his fundamental rights.
However, in a 27-paragraph affidavit, Mr. Stephen Onwuamadike, Evans’ father, claimed that his family has been denied access to their son, who has since been in police detention.
Onwuamadike further alleged that the media trial of Evans and parade by the police have continued to generate reactions without giving him the opportunity of a fair trial in a law court.
No judge has been assigned the case and no date has been fixed for hearing.
However, in a reaction to the suit, a senior police officer said the police have a court warrant to detain Evans and his gang members for three month to enable the police conclude investigations in Nigeria, Ghana and Southg Africa.
Evans was arrested on June 10, 2017 at one of his mansions in Magodo, Lagos. before his arrewst, he was on the wanted list of the police for over a period of time, for alleged kidnappings.
One of his alleged victims, Mr Donatus Dunu, miraculously escaped from one of his enclaves at Igandu, Lagos and took the police to the hideouts. The police stormed the scene where they recovered arms and ammunition.
The Inspector-General of Police, who was not happy with the Lagos State Police Command for not arresting Evans, had earlier ordered his Intelligence Response Team (IRT) to take over the investigation. A few weeks after the IRT, led by ACP Abba Kyari, took over the case, Evans was arrested. His arrest has generated a media hype .
A senior police officer had claimed that he investigated Evans for an armed robbery attack in 2006. He also claimed that a policewoman serving at the Police College, by name Tina, begged that the case be dropped.
The police officer further alleged that when his team refused to drop the case, the poliicewoman travelled to Imo State and shortly after her returned back to Lagos, the Imo State police command requested that the case be transferred to it.
According to him, the request by the Imo police was the last he heared of Evans until his arrest and subsequent publicity.
Following the police officer’s allegation, the IGP ordered investigation into the allegation.