The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has upheld the dismissal of a N200 million suit filed by the suspected billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, against the police over alleged seizure of 25 trucks belonging to him.
Evans had in 2017 dragged the Inspector General of Police and four others before Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari of a Federal High Court in Lagos alleging unlawfully seizure of the trucks by the police in the aftermath of his arrest.
In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1515/17, Evans demanded for N200 million as general and exemplary damages against the police for the alleged violation of his rights under Sections 36, 43 and 44 of the Constitution.
But the police, through its lawyer, Emmanuel Eze, urged the court to dismiss the suit as the trucks were exhibits for being proceeds of crime.
Delivering judgement in the matter on Thursday, Justice Rabiu-Shagari dismissed the suit saying by virtue of provisions of the Constitution and Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, the police has the right to seize and confiscate any item or property suspected to be proceeds of crime as exhibit. The judge added that she cannot stop the police or other security agency from carrying out their constitutional duties.
Dissatisfied, Evans lodged an appeal at the Appellate Court seeking to upturn the verdict. A counter appeal was also filed by the police.
However, in a unanimous judgement on Thursday, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, upheld the verdict of the lower court. In the lead judgement, Justice Ikyegh held that a search warrant issued and executed by the police in line with Section 144 of the ACJA 2015 empowered it to recover the trucks