Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba, two former soldiers, yesterday denied being accessory to alleged kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike AKA Evans.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ifeanyi and Aduba made the denials during the resumption of their trial at an Ikeja High Court on two counts of kidnapping and conspiracy.
The ex-soldiers, who were earlier dismissed by the Army, are facing trial alongside Evans, UcheAmadi, OkwuchukwuNwachukwu and OgechiUchechukwu for the alleged kidnap of MrDonatusDunu, Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals.
Ifeanyi, led in evidence by defence counsel, Mr A.A.Uzoukwu, said he was acquainted with Aduba and had worked with him as a soldier.
He said one day, he was requested by another acquaintance, MrIkennaChukwuma, to help him drive a car from a mechanic’s workshop at Ijesha, Lagos to Surulere, Lagos.
He told the court that when they got to the mechanic’s workshop, the car had not been repaired and Chukwuma had called a friend to pick them up from the workshop.
“When I entered the vehicle with Chukwuma, I saw Mr Victor Aduba (sixth defendant) in the vehicle and there was a weapon inside the vehicle.
“When I asked what the weapon was doing there, the driver told me to keep quiet and mind my business.
“I was asked if I know what is AP and I said no, then I was told to keep quiet and mind my business.
“My Lord, they did not carry anybody in that vehicle and they did not kidnap anybody. Reaching Cele Bus stop, I told them I was uncomfortable and asked to alight.
“I was dropped off at Cele Bus stop and they warned that if they heard anything from me, they would kill me and I went back home,” Ifeanyi said.
Responding to questions from Evans’ defence counsel, Mr Victor Okpara, Chilaka said he did not know Evans, and met him for the first time in police custody.
“I have never taken part in any kidnap activities in my life. I have never attempted to kidnap anyone before or conspired with Evans to kidnap the victim (Dunu),” he said.
The second ex-soldier, Aduba, also denied partaking in kidnapping with Evans and the other co-defendants.
He alleged that he was tortured into admitting to the crimes by members of the police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Emmanuel Ochai, Aduba said he was invited by an acquaintance, MrChukwumaNwosu to a bar in Ago, Lagos but unknown to him, Nwosu was wanted by the police.
“As I reached the bar, he (Nwosu) was acting unusual and I kept asking what was wrong with him, and then I noticed five policemen who approached me and said I was under arrest.
“I resisted and they overpowered me and when I got to the police station, one Mr Philip, their boss, said I should cooperate with them and do whatever they said I should do.
“I told them they should allow me to go to my office where I worked as a soldier but they refused,” he said.
Aduba denied Haroun’s allegations that he was one of the soldiers who Evans had in a recorded confession, admitting to be members of his gang.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until November 5 for adoption of final written addresses.
Meanwhile, Evans’ defence team has closed their case.
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