Two Compact Disks (CDs) showing video recordings of alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans were yesterday played at an Ikeja Special Offences court.
The video recordings beamed on the wall of the court room before Justice Olywatoyin Taiwo showed Evans confessing to kidnapping of his victims and to armed robbery within and outside Lagos state.
The clips from the video were played while the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Titi Shitta-Bey was leading a witness, Inspector Idowu Haruna in evidence in-chief.
Evans is standing trial with co-defendant,Victor Aduba for four-counts of kidnapping of Sylvanus Ahanonu Afia and for unlawful possession of firearms.
The DPP, Ms Shitta-Bey, had requested the court to tender the two CDs containing the confessions of Evans in the matter.
She had also requested that portion of the videos should be played in court to prove its authenticity to the defence team.
The videos showed Evans wearing a red T-shirt, seated on a leather seat in a room and confessing his crimes to Haruna.
Evans in the video was heard giving details of his family background, how he ran away from home, went into armed robbery and later kidnapping.
It showed him smiling occasionally as he narrated his escapdes in bank robberies and kidnapping.
He said the Ransome collected ranged from $250,000 to $1million depending on the victim.
Haruna, a policeman with 14-years experience in the Nigerian Police Force, also told the court he came in contact with the defendants while serving as a member of the Inspector General of Police, Intelligence Response Team.
He said the defendants were arrested for the kidnap of one person in February 14, 2017.
“That victim was taken to their hideout in Igando, Lagos and kept there for a month till he escaped from the hideout.
“Through covert operations, we arrested Evans and during interrogations he mentioned Victor Aduba”.
He said Evans, during interrogation, gave them names and information about the people he had kidnapped in Lagos and in other states.
“He confessed that on June 28, 2014, at Saka Street., Amuwo-Odofin in Lagos, he was armed with an Ak47 gun and he kidnapped Mr Sylvanus Ahanonu, taking him to their hideout in a danfo bus.
“After holding the victim for nine weeks, they contacted his family demanding $2million. We negotiated with his family and they agreed to pay $420,000” adding that the money was paid by instalments.
Haruna stated further that after Sylvanus regained his freedom, he gave a statement to the police, his wife Mrs Chinyemere Ahanonu who negotiated his release and his brother Dominic Ahanonu who dropped off the ransome all volunteered statements.
“The first defendant, Evans was cautioned in English language and his statement recorded by our video recorder which took records of the interview.
He Evan was taken to DSP Phillip a superior officer and his statement was recorded.
The statements of Sylvanus, Chinyemere and Dominic were tendered in evidence in court by the DPP and the CD containing the confessions of Evans played in the courtroom.
The DPP requested the court to admit the CDs and a certificate relating to the recordings into evidence.
But Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, Evans defence counsel, requested for time to study the recordings and compare the copy of the CD served on them with what was played in court.
He said they will also need time to study the certificate which he said was served on them in the court.
“My Lord we will be requesting for time to call our technical experts to examine the CD played in court today as well as the certificate of identification served on us in open court,” he said.
Also during proceedings, Mr Emmanuel Ochai, counsel to Aduba had complained to the court about Kirikiri prison officials eavesdropping on conversations between the defence counsel and their clients.
Responding to Ochai’s complaint, Justice Taiwo cautioned the prison wardens.
“You are not supposed to be overhearing when the lawyers are conferring with the defendants. Stand at a safe and reasonable distance so long as you can observe the defendants.
“Please allow justice to be done in this case,” she ordered.
Earlier, Ogungbeje had brought an application challenging the amended charge against the defendants.
According to him, the additional evidence was overreaching and insufficient to sustain the charge.
Dismissing Ogungbeje’s application, Justice Taiwo said the application lacked merit.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the case till April 23 for continuation of trial.