Police Asks Court To Dismiss Evans’ Claim Over Seized Trucks

* Evans

 

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), today  asked a Federal High Court, Lagos to dismiss a suit filed by the suspected notorious kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly called  Evans, over alleged claim that his 25 trucks were unlawfully seized and confiscated, for being abuse of court’s process.

Evans in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1515/17, accused the Inspector-General of Police and four others of unlawfully seizures of his 25 trucks and converted same to their own.

Those accused of the act alongside IGP are: Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Inspector-General of Police Response Team (IRT), Lagos State Police Commissioner, and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

In the said suit, Evans through his lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, is seeking a declaration that the forceful seizure and confiscation of his 25 Mack trucks with plate numbers: BDG 78 XT, GGE 491 XU, 290 XU, FST 742 XT, AGL 219 XT, AGL 222 XT, GGE 492 XU, AGL 220 XT, GGE 489 XU, and others, on June 15, 2017, without any court order is illegal, wrongful, unlawful and  unconstitutional as it violates his fundamental right as guaranteed by section 33 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Evans also asked the court for an order compelling the respondents, their operatives, agents, privies, officers or anybody deriving authority from them to immediately and unconditionally release his 25 Mack trucks, forcefully seized and confiscated from him without any court order.

The suspected kidnapper also seek an order compelling the respondents to tender an apology to him and pay him the sum of N200 million, as general and exemplary damages for the threat to his life and rights, harassment, inconvenience, and forceful seizure and confiscation of his 25 Mack trucks.

”An order of perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents, its officers, officials, agents, servants or privies or anybody deriving power from them , from further harassing, intimidating, arresting, detaining, threatening, inviting, forceful seizure and confiscating of his trucks and other properties, charging, seizing or taking any untoward action against him”.

But, the IGP and other respondents in the suit, through their lawyer, Emmanuel Eze, urged court to dismiss Evans’ suit with punitive cost.

In urging the court to dismiss the suspected kidnapper’s case, lawyer to the respondents told the court that all the declarations sought by the applicant, except on the alleged seized and confiscated 25 Mack trucks and order of payment of N200 million, had been decided by Justice Abdulazeez Anka, on January 16, 2018, in a fundamental rights suit filed by Evans.

The police lawyer said, “My Lord, the applicant in his counter to our preliminary objection, raised issue that the extant action is distinguishable from the one judgment has been delivered by Justice Anka. The only different are reliefs one and three, reliefs two, four, and five still talk about some action pending before Anka J, which judgment had been delivered”.

Lawyer to the police also told the court the  applicant (Evans) lied to the court that he has 25 Mack trucks, whereas police only recovered 11 trucks, 10 in Lagos and one in Anambra State, adding that the trucks were purchased by the applicant with criminal proceeds.

The lawyer also told the court that the applicant (Evans) in his confessional statement stated that the trucks were 11 and purchased with proceeds of ransom collected from his victims.

Parts of his confessional statement which was read in court reads, “the money i used to buy the trucks are proceeds and ransoms collected from kidnapping and the victims of the kidnap.I also built a house in Ghana, I have 11 trucks in my company, some are working, some are not working”.

Emmanuel also told the court that by virtue of Section 143 of the Administration of Criminal Act (ACJA), security agents are empowered to confiscate proceeds of crime, and that it was on such basis that the applicant’s 11 trucks were legally seized. And that there was no time the respondents converted the trucks to their own.

Emmanuel urged the court to dismiss Evans’ suit for being abuse of court process, and also to award punitive cost against him.

Justice Hadiz Rabiu-Shagari, after listening to arguments and submissions of both parties, adjourned the matter till April 19, for judgment.

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