A Federal High Court in Lagos will on August 29 deliver judgment in the N300 million fundamental human rights suit filed by the alleged infamous kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans.
Onwuamadike had filed the suit seeking N300 million compensation and challenging his continued detention by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, since June 10.
Joined in the suit are the Nigeria Police, Lagos State Police Commissioner and the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)
At Wednesday’s proceedings, Henry Obiazi, counsel to the IGP and the Police, told the court that the case involved murder, armed robbery and kidnapping which are all capital offences.
Obiazi, requesting that the N300 million suit should be dismissed, citing Section 35 (7) of the 1999 Constitution.
He noted that the fundamental rights suit of the applicant was not absolute and that Onwuamadike would soon be arraigned in court by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“Though the Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of every Nigerian citizen, these rights are not absolute. When it has to do with capital offences, I urge the court to hold that the application is unmeritorious and should dismiss it,” he said.
In his submission, Emmanuel Eze, counsel to the State Police Commissioner and SARS, noted that the applicant has not showed any cause of action against his clients.
Eze told the court that Onwuamadike was arrested by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) set up by the IGP and not by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police or SARS.
He faulted claims that Onwuamadike was subjected to a trial by media, noting that no material fact has been placed before the court.
He alleged that prior to his arrest, the alleged kidnap kingpin had been involved in numerous robberies including several attacks on bullion vans with an undisclosed number of policemen losing 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 urge the court to dismiss this application with punitive costs. That will serve as a deterrent to others who may want to file such a frivolous application in future,” Eze said.
However, counsel to Onwuamadike, Olukoya Ogungbeje, in his submission, requested that the court should hold that the respondents had acted contrary to the law by detaining him since June 10.
He countered claims by the lawyers to the respondents that an accused who has allegedly committed a capital offence can be detained by an order of court.
According to Ogungbeje, the assertion is only applicable where an accused seeks bail after 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.”
After listening to the submissions of the lawyers, Justice Abdul-Azeez Anka, adjourned the case until August 29 for judgment.