A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday, dismissed a suit by confessed kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, against the Police, seeking to recover 25 trucks.
Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, dismissed the suit which also sought N200 million damages against the respondents. Joined as defendants in the suit were the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), IGP Response Team, Lagos State Police Commissioner, and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)
Rabiu-Shagari held that by the provisions of the constitution and Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, the police possessed the right to seize and confiscate as exhibits any items or properties, suspected to be proceeds of crime.
The court said it could not stop the police or other security agencies, from carrying out their constitutional duties.In the fundamental rights suit, Counsel to Evans, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje had sought the release of 25 Mack trucks, which he claimed were seized from his client.
Evans urged the court to order the police to release them to him through his lawyer.During the hearing of the suit, Ogungbeje told the court that the trucks were seized without a court order, adding that the seizure was a violation of his client’s right.
He also told the court that the police confiscated the trucks from Evans on June 15, 2017 without any court order, and urged the court to award damages in the sum of N200million against the police.In opposing the suit, the police in a counter-affidavit by Inspector Haruna Idowu and argued by Mr Emmanuel Eze, said that the team that investigated Evans’ case, only recovered 11 trucks, which were proceeds of crime.
Eze said only 10 of the trucks were recovered by the police and had been listed as exhibits in the criminal charge filed against Evans.“The applicant is the notorious and most dreaded armed robber and kidnapper known as Evans, who defied police arrest for over 10 years and who had terrorised many states of Nigeria with his various gang members,” he said.
He said that the trucks recovered are preserved as exhibits which will be tendered during the ongoing criminal prosecution.He urged the court to strike out the suit.
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