A prosecution witness, Chief James Uduji, on Friday told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere that suspected ‘billionaire’ kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a Evans, shot him during his kidnap and afterwards pretended to be a doctor.
Uduji told Justice Adedayo Akintoye that Evans was the driver of the Lexus 470 SUV which he and three other members of his gang used during the operation.
The witness testified at the commencement of the prosecution’s case against Evans and his co-defendants; Joseph Emeka, Linus Okpara and Victor Aduba.
The four were arraigned on June 26 following the dismissal of Evans’ objection to a five-count charge of conspiracy, kidnapping and attempted murder, preferred against them by the Lagos State Government.
The defendants and others at large allegedly committed the offences on September 7, 2015, at Seventh Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos.
The allegedly conspired and kidnapped Uduji, obtained a ransom of $1.2 million dollars and shot him on the shoulder while trying to kill him.
They pleaded not guilty.
Evans is also facing another charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and attempted murder, before the same judge.
In this charge, he is standing trial alongside Joseph Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
Led in Examination-in-Chief by prosecution counsel Adebayo Haroun, Uduji narrated yesterday how he was kidnapped on September 7, 2015, by four armed men on his way home from his factory at Agbara in Ogun State.
He said the incident took place very close to his house at 7th Avenue area of Festac Town, Lagos.
Uduji said the alleged kidnappers drove a Lexus 470 SUV and fired several gun shots during the kidnap operation.
The witness said he was surprised to see the men shooting towards his vehicle, adding that he thought they were the police.
Uduji said: “I was inside my Hilux van with my two drivers when the men came and pulled me out of my vehicle and dragged me inside their own vehicle.
“I was not blindfolded at this point, so I saw the men clearly and the man at the steering wheel with a gun was Evans; he is the only one I can recognise among the four,” Uduji said.
The witness testified that it was when he was dragged out of his vehicle, that he noticed that he was stained with blood.
“I then realised I had sustained a bullet wounds,” he explained.
Uduji said the kidnappers called a doctor on phone who treated his bullet wound at their destination.
The witness said he was given two tetanus injections for seven days, adding that Evans was the so called doctor who treated him.
He said that he stayed for 45 days in captivity and a ransom of 1.2 million dollars was paid before he was released by the alleged kidnappers.
Uduji told the court that the ransom was paid in three instalments by his brothers, adding that he was released eight days after the ransom was paid.
The witness was cross-examined by all the defendants’ counsel, Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku who represented Evans, Mr Ogedi Ogu who represented the second defenant and Mr Emmanuel Ochai for the fourth defendant.
Ajanaku observed that the specific date when Uduji was released from the kidnappers was not mentioned in the statement he made at the police station.
He also stated that the date which the witness told the court that he made the statement at the police station was different from the date contained in the statement.
The court heard that they also shot Jereome Okezie, Uduji’s driver, on the hand and head.
At the conclusion of Uduji’s testimony, the prosecution called Jerome Okezie, as its second witness.
Okezie testified that he sustained bullet wounds from the kidnappers’ gun shots, adding that he pretended to be dead after he was shot.
He said he was taken to the hospital by some people after the kidnappers took his boss away.
The offences, according to the prosecution, contravened Sections 230 (a) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Justice Akintoye adjourned further proceedings till September 17.