Ogungbeje

Following his shocking announcement to
defend suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin,
Evans, a Lagos lawyer has come out to tell
his reason why.

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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