Appeal Court dismisses Evans’ fundamental right enforcement suit

The Court of Appeal, Lagos division, on Thursday December 6, dismissed an appeal filed by the suspected billionaire kidnapper Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (A.K.A. Evans) against the ruling of a Federal High Court, Lagos which dismissed his Fundamental Right Enforcement suit for lacking in merit.

Justice A.U. Ogakwu while dismissing Evans” appeal, said “the appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed with no order of cost.

Evans, in the twilight of his arrest and detention had approached a Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging his arrest and detention beyond the time allowed by law, his continued detention without trial or being arraigned before a count of law within the time allowed by law and his subjection to Media Trial by the Police.

However, the police who was  represented by Barrister Emmanuel Eze, a Police Inspector from State Intelligence and Criminal Investigation Department, SICID,  Panti, Lagos  filed and argued the respondents counter affidavit and written address while Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje argued the plaintiff’ motion.

While delivering judgment on the  Onwuamadike’s Fundamental Right Enforcement application at the lower court, the trial Justice Abdulazeez Anka, had on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, dismissed the Fundamental Right Enforcement suit  on the ground that the suit lacks merit.

Dissatisfied, with the ruling of Justice Anka, Onwuamadike (appellant) filed an  Notice of appeal before the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal  by virtue of a Notice of Appeal dated January 29, 2018 and filed at the court below on the same date.

In the appeal, Onwuamadike raised five issues for determination, these are: . whether the learned trial judge was right when he dismissed the appellant fundamental right suit for lacking in merit despite overwhelming evidence on the arrest and detention of the appellant by the respondents beyond the time allowed by law with out any court order. And whether the learned trial judge was right when he held that it is the court that has the power to determine within a reasonable period shall be.

And whether the learned trial judge was right when he sat as an appeal court and overruled himself in granting the application of the first and second respondents after the same trial Judge had delivered ruling that the first and second respondents had been duly served with the originating process in the Suit, proceeded with the hearing of the Case and duly adjourned the case for judgment.

However, in the counter affidavit filed by Inspector Emmanuel Eze, counsel for the Police, stated the facts as to why the appellant was arrested and detained.

Eze in its brief of argument in response to the appellant’s brief of argument against the judgment of Justice Anka stated the circumstances leading to the arrest and consequent determination of the appellant and consequently formulated three issues for determination, these are :
Whether the Learned trial Judge was not right when he dismissed the appellant’s Fundamental Right application for lacking in merit having failed to place material facts before the trial Court.

Eze canvassed three grounds why the appellant’s motion should be dismissed, these are: whether the section 35(7) is not an exception to the general rules as provided by section 35(4) of the Constitution, Whether the grant of leave to the first and second Respondents by the
trial judge to present their own side of the case after case was adjourned for judgment amounts to sitting on appeal or overruling himself.

The respective counsel argued adopted and argued motion on October 25, 2018.

Delivering judgment in an abridged judgment today, Justice A. U. Ogakwu who read the lead judgment said, “The appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed but with no order as to cost”.

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