The lawyer of billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike better known as Evans, Olukoya Ogungbeje has said the police forced his client to plead guilty during arraignment.
Evans had pleaded guilty, alongside two of the five suspects arraigned with him at an Ikeja high court on Wednesday.
Hakeem Oshodi, the judge adjourned the matter till October 19 and ordered that they be remanded in prison.
Ogunbeje however said the plea would be changed to not guilty at the next court sitting.
Ogungbeje said in a statement, “The information/charge sheet was served on us in open court hence, the need to confer with our client to enable us avail ourselves with the constitutional right of adequate time and facility to put up our defence,”.
“The court, after turning down our plea for adjournment, immediately ordered that the counts charges be read to him and others despite our plea for the adjournment to enable us confer with our client in accordance with the law.
“After the purported guilty plea of our client and the court rose, we stressed to have brief discussion time with our client and he told us clearly that the police told him to plead guilty failure to which they would kill him.
“This is definitely unconstitutional and we intend to challenge this unconstitutional procedure for hoodwinking, undue influence, brainwashing and coercion on an accused into entering a guilty plea against his wish and free will.
“He pointedly told us that being informed us that being informed now, he will change his police-motivated guilty plea to not guilty at the next adjourned date.
“It is settled law that plea of guilty must be made voluntary and direct devoid of any influence, coercion and manipulation.
“In the meantime, after our brief conferring with our client in open court, he made it known to us that he will change his police motivated guilty plea to ‘not guilty’ at the next adjourned date.”