Lagos Court Orders ‘Evans’ To Refund 233,000 Euros Ransom Kidnap Victim Paid

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KIDNAPPING: Evans co-defendant seeks court’s approval for treatment of ...

Convicted kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans.

Convicted kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, was on Wednesday ordered by a Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Olukayode Ogunjobi to refund the sum of 233,000 Euros he collected as ransom from his victim, Mr. Donatus Dunu.

The judge also ordered the convict to pay N50 million to Dunu, the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, as general damages.

Onwuamadike and his gang reportedly had kidnapped Dunu on February 14, 2017, and held him hostage before he managed to escape.

After his escape, Dunu filed Suit No. LD/5243GCM/2018, demanding the refund of the 223,000 Euros he paid as ransom while in the custody of the kidnap kingpin.

Dunu also demanded N50 million as damages.

In his testimony before the court, the claimant added that the defendant asked him to instruct his brothers, Messrs. Anslem Dunu and Innocent Dunu to pay the ransom.

The 233,000 Euros, according to him, was paid but Onwuamadike refused to release him, but he eventually escaped from captivity.

Giving evidence, the pharmacist’s brother, Anslem Dunu, said that on February 14, 2017, another brother of his, Innocent Dunu, had informed him that the claimant had been abducted.

Anslem Dunu further told the court that on February 15, 2017, a day after Dunu’s abduction, he spoke with the claimant on the telephone, and he instructed him to pay his abductors N100 million as ransom for his release.

Anslem Dunu stated that the abductors later demanded for one million Euros.

One of his relatives, one Uchenna Okagwu, according to Anslem Dunu, had delivered the sum of 233,000 Euros to the abductors.

The witness was not cross examined.

Onwuamadike in his defence contended that the strength of the claimant’s case was predicated majorly upon the criminal trial against him and others in Suit No. 1D/5970C/2017.

The defendant also submitted that the only evidence before the court as to the payment of the 233,000 Euros was the evidence of Okagwu, who allegedly delivered the money to the abductors.

Onwuamadike further stated that in the criminal trial in Suit No. 1D/5970C/2017, Okagwu had testified that he dropped the said sum on the ground and fled and that he did not see anybody or deliver the money to anyone.

He argued that the evidence of Okagwu who delivered the said ransom to the abductors was the only direct evidence and must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The defendant posited that the judgment delivered by Justice O.H. Oshodi on February 25, 2022, is now subject of an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.

In his judgment on Wednesday, Justice Ogunjobi held that the defendant gave inconsistent evidence and could not be recognised as a witness of truth.

“It is settled law that no witness who gives materially inconsistent evidence on oath is entitled to the honour of being accorded with any credibility and such does not deserve to be treated as a truthful witness.

“Aside adducing conflicting pieces of evidence on oath, I have watched the demeanour of the defendant in the witness box when giving evidence and came to the conclusion that the defendant is not a witness of truth.

“I accept the unchallenged and uncontroverted evidence of the claimant and his witnesses. Their evidence is consistent with the reliefs sought.

“Consequently, the claimant is entitled to be repaid and or recover from the defendant, 233,000 Euros ransom coercively paid by the claimant to defendant when the defendant kidnapped him in 2017 and held him hostage for months.

“The sum of N50 million is awarded as general damages in favour of the claimant.

“Post-judgment interest is also awarded on the said sum of 233,000 Euros at the rate of 10 per cent per annum from judgment day until final liquidation,’’ Justice Ogunjobi declared.

The adjudged ruled that the sum is to be paid or recovered from the assets of the defendant.

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