Lagos CJ Grants Amnesty To 33 Inmates

Lagos CJ Grants Amnesty To 33 Inmates

An Ikeja Special Offences Court sentenced Frank Udeme, one of the co-defendants of the convicted billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, to five years imprisonment at the Kirikiri Correctional Centre.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on Friday convicted Udeme for selling firearms to Evans after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

The judge also ordered that the sentence would take effect from the day he was remanded in custody.

“In view of the guilty plea of the third defendant, I hereby find the defendant guilty as charged. The defendant is hereby sentenced to five years imprisonment. However, the sentence  will take effect from the day the defendant has been in detention which is July  6, 2017,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Justice Taiwo as saying.

Earlier, counsel to the third defendant, Mr A. B. Josiah, notified the court about the defendant’s change of plea.

The charge was re-read to the defendant and he pleaded guilty to counts six and seven.

The Director, Directorate of Public Prosecution, Dr Babatunde Martins, told the court that the third defendant admitted to have sold two AK-47 and 270 AK-47 live ammunition to Evans

Martins said Udeme, who hailed from Itan-kotoromu in the Ika Local Government of Akwa-Ibom, made a statement on July 7,2017 admitting to the offence.

The prosecutor was quoted by NAN as saying, “He admitted to having met the first defendant  and sold  two AK47 and 270 AK47 live ammunition to him. In his statement, he said he got the weapons from his community. According to him, the weapons were given to him by his community to fight inter-communal crises.

Evans sent his driver, Emeka, to retrieve the ammunition from him. In his statement, he wrote, and I quote, ‘I sold the ammunition to Evans for N400,000 but he only paid me N200,000. Ever since, I have not seen him’”.

Martins said the defendant’s statement had been admitted into evidence, adding that the offence contravened  Section  9(2) of the Firearms Act and punishable under Section  27(b) (iii) of the same Act, and urged the court to convict the defendant accordingly.

However, Josiah in his allocutus, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant had no prior criminal record.

“I also  want the court to take into consideration the fact that the defendant has been in detention since July 6, 2017, which is almost the length of his sentence, if found guilty,” he said.

Evans, Frank Udeme, Joseph Ikenna and Chiemeka Arinze were arraigned on a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to kidnap and selling of firearms.
They were alleged to have attempted to kidnap Chairman of Young Shall Grow Motors, Chief Vincent Obianodo, on August 27, 2013.

Arinze was reported to have passed away on November 26, 2021, as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest caused by acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

 Justice Taiwo adjourned the case to March 28 for the continuation of trial of the remaining two defendants.

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