Court Rules On Evans’ Fundamental Rights Application August 29
Justice Abdul-Azeez Anka of the Federal High Court Lagos will on August 29 deliver judgement in a N300 million fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans, against the Inspector-General of Police(IGP), Ibrahim Idris and three others challenging his continued detention.
Justice Anka fixed the date after hearing the submissions of parties in the matter today.
While asking the court to dismiss the suit, lawyer representing both the IGP and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Henry Obiazi, noted that the case has to do with murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, which are all capital offences.
The lawyer while citing Section 35 (7) of Constitution argued that the fundamental rights of the applicant is not absolute.
He added that the applicant will soon be arraigned in court by the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“Though the Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of every Nigerian citizens, these rights are not absolute, particularly, when it has to do with capital offence. I urged the court to hold that the application is unmeritorious and dismiss it,” he said.
In his own submissions, lawyer representing the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Emmanuel Eze, argued that the applicant has not shown any cause of action against his clients.
He claimed that Evans was arrested by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) set up by the IGP and not by any of his clients.
He also faulted claims that the applicant was subjected to media trial saying no material fact has been placed before the court in that regard.
According to him, the nature of the offences allegedly committed by the applicant are conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder.
He alleged that prior to his arrest, the applicant has been involved in so many robbery operations, part of which included series of attacks on bullion vans where so many policemen lost their lives.
“My lord, it is not up to 90 days that the applicant was arrested. Besides, there is an order of the court for his remand. The applicant is an international kidnapper terrorizing states across the country. I urged the court to dismiss this application with punitive costs so as to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to file such frivolous application in the future”, the lawyer said.
However, in his arguments, Evans lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, urged the court to hold that the respondents had run foul of the law by detaining his client since June 10, 2017.
He also faulted the arguments of the respondents’ lawyers that a suspect that has committed capital offence can be detained without a court’s order.
According to him, the assertion is only applicable at the point where the suspect is seeking for bail after his arraignment.
“The proper thing for the respondents to do is to have the applicant arraigned and later inform the court about the capital nature of the offence upon which he may then be remanded in their custody”, he said.
After listening to the submissions of parties, Justice Anka fixed August 29 for judgement.
Evans is demanding the sum of N300 million from the police for illegally detaining him since June 10, 2017, without pressing any charge against him in court.