Evans’ Lawyer Withdraws from his Trial
Olukoya Ogungbeje, lead counsel to suspected kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, better known as Evans, has withdrawn from his trial.
Ogungbeje, in a statement he personally signed, said he was withdrawing due to “personal reasons”, though he added that his life had been under threat since he took up the case.
Evans is being tried by the Lagos state government for alleged offences ranging from conspiracy to kidnapping and attempted murder.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that we have fought a good fight this far despite repeated and sustained threats to my life and my defence lawyers,” he said.
“I dare say we have no regrets whatsoever, having conducted the criminal charges involving our client this far.
“For the sake of history, we have been able to enrich the basic principles of our criminal jurisprudence, especially the principle premised on ‘an accused person being presumed innocent until the contrary is proved’ no matter the public opinion and criticism.”
He added that the defence team has also been able to “keep the prosecution on their toes in the art of forensic, proper and thorough investigation and prosecution of accused persons.”
Ogungbeje came into limelight when he filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos, asking the court to compel the police to release his client.
He had subsequently filed another suit against the inspector general of police and three other parties, claiming N300 million as general and exemplary damages against the police for “illegal detention and unconstitutional media trial”.
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