Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, the lead counsel to alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwamadike a.k.a Evans, has withdrawn from all the criminal charges/cases against his client pending in the Lagos High Court.
Evans’ lawyer, Ogungbeje in a press statement on Wednesday, said the decision to withdraw from the case said was for personal reasons. He further added that his life and that of the defence lawyers has repeatedly been threatened.
He said ” For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that we have fought a good fight this far despite repeated and sustained threats to my life and my defence lawyers, I dare say we have no regrets whatsoever having conducted the Criminal charges involving our client this far.”
“For the sake of history we have been able enrich the basic principles of our Criminal Jurisprudence especially the principle premised on ” An accused person being presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, Ogungbeje added.”
Concluding his statement, Ogungbeje who urged the media, the prosecution, the courts and the general public to take to heart the imperisiable dictum of the master of the Rolls, Lord Denning, added that no matter the public opinion and the criticism, they have been able to keep the prosecution on their toes in the art of Forensic, proper and thorough investigation and prosecution of accused persons.
Citing Lord Denning in the case of Rondel vs Wosley, Evans’ lawyer opined;
” An advocate is a minister of Justice equally with the Judge, he has no monopoly of audience in the higher courts, a barrister cannot pick or choose his clients, he is bound to accept a brief for any man who come before the courts. No matter how great a rascal the man may be, no”
Ogungbeje who heads Lawflex Chambers and is the Chairman of Voice Vanguard, made headlines after he filed a fundamental rights suit on behalf of Evans, by dragging the Inspector General of Police, and three others before a Federal High Court in Lagos over Evans alleged illegal detention.