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  • "Why I Am Defending Evans, The Kidnapper" — Lagos Lawyer Olukoya Ogungbeje
  • Lagos lawyer, Olukoya
    Ogungbeje, has justified his
    decision to defend
    suspected billionaire
    kidnapper, Chukwudumeme
    Onwuamadike, a.k.a.
    Evans, in court.
    Ogungbeje has come under
    public criticisms for
    accepting the brief to seek
    freedom for Evans from
    police detention, or have
    him charged to court, weeks
    after his arrest. Nigerians
    had taken to the media to
    condemn the move, saying,
    the notorious criminal
    suspect who confessed to
    denying his victims their
    freedom did not deserve
    mercy considering the
    atrocities he reportedly
    committed with his gang
    members.
    But, speaking with Saturday
    Sun yesterday, Ogungbeje,
    accused a section of the
    media, as well as many
    Nigerians of being ignorant
    of the law.
    Citing a judgment delivered
    by Lord Denning, regarded
    as the most famous and
    influential judicial figure of
    the last century, he noted
    that it was settled in law
    that “no matter the bases of
    the complaints of the cause
    of your crime, no matter
    how unpopular is the cause
    of your crime, no matter
    how bad is the cause of
    your crime, the legal
    practitioner has a duty to
    take up the cause, if he’s
    properly briefed and
    provided that person
    represents his client within
    the bounds of law.”
    He added: “That is my
    answer to your question.
    So, no matter the public
    opinion, I have the
    responsibility to take up the
    matter. We were properly
    briefed. So, our action is
    based on law. And we want
    to represent our client
    within the bounds of law,
    within the confines of law.
    So, if you for instance,
    you’re a journalist, if you
    brief me… you don’t want
    me to take up your cause,
    because people are saying
    negative things about you,
    or because people have
    condemned you and found
    you guilty before the media,
    that I should not take up
    your case?
    “Look, let me tell you right
    away. We were briefed two
    weeks ago. And I told them
    to give me two weeks to
    think, whether I would take
    up the brief or not. I did my
    consultations. We
    consulted even journalists,
    you can go and make
    enquiries. I consulted my
    people. I consulted senior
    lawyers. So, have I done
    what is wrong by taking the
    cause of my clients? Forget
    what people say in the court
    of public of opinion.

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