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Court orders public defender to take over Evans’ case as he can no longer pay his lawyers



Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on Friday ordered the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) to take over the defence of the suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans, over his inability to afford his legal fees.

The state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), told the judge during proceedings that his team called the law chambers of Ladi Williams and Co, which represented the defendant during the last hearing to enquire about his counsel’s whereabouts.

The commissioner added that his team was informed by the law chambers that Evans has not “perfected their brief.”

Evans, who was arraigned alongside five others on August 30, 2017 on two- count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping, had changed lawyers at least five times during the course of the trial.

Some of the lawyers who had represented him include – Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, Mr. Noel Brown and Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, among others.

READ ALSO: Court orders Evans to defend self in criminal trial

Justice Oshodi, who reacted to the development, said Evans had developed a habit of engaging the services of lawyers who “disappeared halfway through trial,” adding this had caused delays in the case.

He said: “There are five other defendants with different counsel, the interest of the first defendant (Evans) is not superior to those of the other defendants.

“The court will not breach Section 36(6) of the 1999 Constitution by going ahead with today’s business of the court which is the hearing of the no-case submissions.”

He, thereafter, ordered an OPD counsel who was in court, Ms. E.E. Okonkwo, to takeover Evans’ defence.

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