Justice Abdulaziz Anka of a Lagos Federal High Court on Wednesday ordered that the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans against the Nigeria Police Force will proceed.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka of a Lagos Federal High Court on Wednesday ordered that the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans against the Nigeria Police Force will proceed.
The Billionaire-Kidnapper, Chukwudi Onuamadike aka Evans, was once arrested in Lagos state . A Senior police officer who arrested the kingpin and his gang in 2006, reveals that a rift borne out of greed led to Evans’ arrest in Imo . According to the officer, Evans and his gang fell out as they were sharing the loot from a robbery attack A senior police officer whose name has been concealed to protect him from prosecution, has said that Evans was arrested in Imo state, but regained freedom afterwards. He told newsmen that Evans was arrested in 2006, after his gang of robbers attacked a commercial bank in Lagos. According to the source which spoke to The Punch, the robbers went somewhere around the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, to share the loot.
While sharing the loot, the robbers had a disagreement and shot one another. Seven members of the gang died instantly. The then Divisional Police Officer of Iponri Police Station, Yahaya Bello, now a deputy commissioner of police, was in the know of the incident, the sources claimed. According to the Senior officer, it was confirmed that one of the members of the gang arrested then was Chukwudi Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans. “If you look at his chest, I cannot remember whether it is the right or left side, there is a scar. It was as a result of the gunshot from his gang members that day.
He bled and there was no way he could run away before the police came. The case was transferred to the Lagos State Anti-Robbery Squad. We investigated and discovered that they were armed robbers. Evans led the team. We also went to Mbidi Police Station, Imo state, to carry out an investigation on them. We were able to arrest two other members of the gang. We then had five of them in police custody” the source informed. A source informs that Evans was once arrested in Lagos state but was released by the Imo state police command. Reacting to prosecution of “Evans the robber”, the source said a certain policewoman at the Band Section of the Police College, Lagos, made attempts to have the criminal released. The lady known as Tina, a superintendent of police, insisted that “we should drop the case and that Onuamadike (Evans) was her brother. But when she was unable to achieve her aim, she travelled to Imo state.” Not long after, police in Lagos state, got a message from the Imo state police command saying that they had been searching for Evans and asked for the robber’s case to be transferred. The source reports that the Imo state command said they would continue from where the investigations had stopped in Lagos.
“Since that time, we did not hear anything. We heard he was later released there,” said the source. The senior police officer further stressed that Evans was not the only one released, other members were most likely set free. “The request was that we should transfer the case to them. We sent him and two members of his gang to the command. There is a hotel in Okota area where they used to meet to share their loot. The owner of the hotel was their friend. There was a time they robbed three banks in Alaba International Market in 2005. They also looted shops there. One of the owners of the shop complained to the police and we carried out an investigation. We discovered that some of the items stolen in the man’s shop were digital cameras. We traced the cameras to the hotel and into the office of the hotel owner. It was then that ‘big men’ started calling from everywhere that we should drop the charges against them. The owner of the hotel was later killed by the robbers, following a disagreement. His body was dumped by the roadside in one of the states in the East sometime ago”.
Advising the police on how to go about Evans’ case, the source said a proper investigation must be carried out. The senior officer noted that Evans links in South Africa, Ghana, and other African countries. In a similar vein, a soldier in the Nigerian army, lance corporal Victor Chukwunonso, has allegedly been arrested by the police for being a gang member of the notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans. Chukunonso, with Army No: 09/NA/64/6317 is attached to the Nigeria Army Band Corps, Abatti Barracks, Surulere, Lagos. Reports have it that he was arrested on Saturday by operatives of the inspector-general of Police Intelligence Response Team. Meanwhile NAIJ.com had reported that the notorious kidnapper a.ka. Evans at the Lagos state police command Headquarters, Ikeja, where he is being detained made other shocking revelations. Evans said he regretted not leaving the country with his family, saying he failed to follow his instincts.
For a better society
Kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, has said some prominent businessmen in the South-East provided information on victims and got a percentage from the ransom received.
The Nation reports that the suspect gave some names to the police.
Evans also confessed that some of his accomplices were based in Europe and were into drug business.
According to a source, Evans explained that he usually shared the loot with his informants on a 60%-40% basis. He has reportedly threatened to make a public announcement, if the police fails to arrest those he mentioned.
“It is true. He has mentioned some very prominent businessmen from the southeast as those who provided information on people he kidnapped.
“He claimed that they shared from the ransoms he collected.
“Evans claimed that most of his accomplices were based in Europe and that they were into drug business.
“The information he provided is being investigated. You do not expect the police to go and arrest people just like that.
“We have to be sure there is a connection between Evans and those mentioned. Once that is established, they would all be arrested.
“But he has been threatening to go public, if people mentioned are not arrested,” he said.
For a better society
Suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans, has told his interrogators one the secrets which had helped him to escape police drag net for seven years.
Evans, who it was learnt, took police to his third detention camp in Lagos yesterday, said he created multiple identities to be able to be a step ahead of security agents.
This came as the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, disclosed that Evans was arrested based on information sharing and intelligence cooperation among police services in West Africa.
The suspect had earlier boasted to be the lord of the kidnapping world.
He said: “To kidnappers out there, you have seen what I’m going through. You have seen it on television and read it in newspapers. For police to have arrested me, the lord of kidnappers, I think there are no other kidnappers out there. Those who are into kidnapping should stop it. Kidnapping doesn’t pay. I have learnt my lesson. I think there are no kidnappers anywhere.”
In living to his claims as the lord of kidnappers, Evans told his interrogators that he had a different name for different state of the federation.
For instance, the suspect is known at his Magodo residence as George but he is Evans in the Lagos criminal world.
“In Edo he is Sunny; in Port Harcourt, he is Richard; in Lagos he is Evans; in Anambra he is Somtu, etc, while some his girlfriends police arrested know him as Mike.
“Security agents in each state are looking for different persons whereas it is the same person. He was doing that just to outsmart security agents. He is extremely intelligent in crime matters,” a source said.
Speaking on Evans’ arrest, Idris said information sharing was crucial to tackling the menace of trans-border crimes in West Africa.
He said: “It is through such exchange that we were able to nab a Ghanaian/Nigerian kidnapper two weeks ago, after evading arrest for many years.”
Idris spoke at an ongoing West Africa international security conference in Accra, Ghana, in a paper entitled: “The role of Nigeria Police in national security and its contributions in West Africa.”
He said: “For several years, Evans terrorised Nigerians and nationals of many countries across West Africa. Efforts to apprehend him did not yield the desired results until we spread our search net wider.”
Idris, according to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Jimoh Moshood, solicited closer ties among security agencies in the sub-region and emphasised the need to improve the method of monitoring and surveillance, particularly among border and coastal police units.
The IG called for improved communication capabilities among intelligence gathering outfits in West Africa, and called for mutual support to plug loopholes usually exploited by criminals.
He said that the Nigeria Police Force had 300,000 personnel in 127 area commands and 5,303 divisions.
According to him, the force has consistently contributed to stability and peace in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nations and under United Nation (UN) mandates.
“The Nigeria Police Force trained 250 Liberian Police personnel in 2005 and has consistently offered training slots to police officers from Gambia and Sierra Leone at the Police Staff College, Jos and the Police Academy, Wudil.
“We also trained 100 police officers from the Republic of Niger on mobile police combat in 1998. At the end of the training, Nigeria donated trucks, riot equipment and tear smoke to the Nigerien government,” the IG said.
For a better society
Father of Billionaire Kidnapper, Evans, has narrated how his son derailed.
While speaking to The Nation in his hometown in Nnewi, Stephen said his entire business collapsed in 1985 when he was defrauded.
He said Chukwudi’s mother abandoned her children and left his house.
Stephen added that he enrolled the now fearsome kidnap kingpin in the beat schools at the time but decided to stop school after writing his ordinary level examination.
“My son (Evans) insisted that he would trade in spare parts and I made arrangement with Cosmas Maduka, through his elder brother, to take him to Lagos, but the boy later rejected the plan, not knowing that he was being negatively teleguided.
“But in 1998, I left Nnewi for Lagos and I was living at Ikotun and started worshipping at T.B Joshua’s church, Synagogue, and when the boy came to me, I gave him money to go back to Nnewi after he found his way to Lagos where he said he had started learning a trade
“So, in 2005 again, he called me that he wanted to marry and I asked him how manage, because I was aware that he was not doing anything tangible, but he told me not to bother, that he needed my presence, which I obliged him.
“Chukwudi Onwuamadike who is being paraded as a kidnapper is my first son; there are other 10 of my children; eight boys and three girls, they were to be 12 but one died.
Stephen said he did not hear from his son for a long time but knew he was communicating with his mother.
“After his marriage in 2005, he moved back to Lagos with the wife and since 11 years, my brother, I will tell you that I don’t know his whereabouts.
“The only person who can tell you in and out of his movement, his connections and his dealings is his mother (Chinwe) because they are always discussing on phone and he does not call me.
“Anytime he wanted to call me, he would hide his phone number or any time his mother would be around, he would instruct his mother to give me her phone for me to answer.
“I met him in 2006 when I went for prayers at TB Joshua’s church (in Lagos). the last time I set my eyes on him was in 2012 during the birthday party of Prophet T.B Joshua in Lagos and I asked him what he was doing, he told me he was dealing in drugs.
“My son was a nice young man before he came under strange influences.”
For a better society
Elder brother to Uchenna Precious Onwuamadike, wife of billionaire kidnapper, Chidumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans Chukwuemeka Okoye has revealed that since his sister got married in 2006, she has not visited their village.
Precious Onwuamadike, who is the last of 13 children hails from Awo Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Speaking with Vanguard, on Monday, Okoye said even when their father died in 2014, Uchenna and her husband never came for his burial.
Okoye, a farmer at Oraifite stated that he had not been communicating with his sister even on telephone, adding that he does not even know that she has five children.
He said: “Our father was very sick when Uchenna got married and he was bedridden for eight years before he died in 2014. It was her father in-law that came for the burial.
“Once she got married, nobody heard from her again and sometimes we heard that she was living abroad.
“My elder brother who is living abroad once told me that he communicated with her and there was no way I could know their present predicament because I do not watch television, neither do I have a mobile phone that can be used for browsing.”
Okoye noted that despite the poverty in their family, Uchenna and her husband never cared.
He said that he had not even heard that his sister’s husband was a kidnapper.
The farmer said their aged mother, who is diabetic, was presently residing with one of his brothers in the North for about one year.
For a better society
Billionaire kidnaper, Chukwumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans, yesterday took policemen to the buildings where he used to detain his victims, pending when they pay his ransom demands.
This was even as he bragged that the he was the lord of kidnapping in the country.
“If police could arrest me, then there is no other kidnapper,” Evans quipped as he led armed policemen round his detention camps.
Although the suspect said he had three buildings where he used to keep his victims, he was able to take police to two.
The police called off the investigation because it was getting late.
According to Evans, even if he abducts victims from other states, he would bring them down to Lagos. He said he had a camp at Igando, Ejigbo and Gowon Estate.
Speaking about the Jakande building, located at Ejigbo, Evans said: “I rented the building in 2010 and used it for as a detention camp. I paid a year’s rent. I rented the Jakande building for N750,000. The building hosted three victims. The victims are Udoji, who I collected $1 million from, Emesbos, who paid me $300,000, while the third victim paid $250,000.
“I have just three camps in Lagos, where I keep victims. I have at Jakande, Igando and Gowon area of the metropolis. Whenever I noticed policemen were after me, I would move such a victim to a different camp, to prevent policemen from tracking me. I also operated several bank accounts, but I used GTB constantly.
“My wife lied when she said she didn’t spend part of my money. She only wanted Nigerians to have sympathy for me. But sincerely, she didn’t know I was into kidnapping. I told her that I was into drug trafficking, which she advised me to stop, saying it was dangerous.”
Narrating his experience in police detention, Evans said that his cell mates were treating him well.
He noted that policemen were good and took care of him. The suspect said he wouldn’t have blamed them if they refused to take care of him, stressing that he was the cause of his problem.
Weeping like a broken hearted man, Evans sniffed: “I’m the cause of my problem. I’m reaping what I sowed. If I’m given a second chance, I’ll be the most grateful person on earth. I promise to be an advocate of anti-kidnapping in the country.”
He denied speculations that he had a car called Phantom.
Evans said: “The only cars I have are Toyota Hilux worth N4 million, Nissan pickup (N7 million), Lexus Jeep GS460 (N22 million, 2016 model), Range Rover N55 million and Lexus Jeep GL47 (N9 million).
“I never really got to enjoy the money I made because I was always on the run, trying to avoid police. I was not going to clubs, hotels, etc. because I was afraid that policemen would come after me.”
Like he had narrated before, Evans said he dropped out of school in JSS2, after his father refused to pay his to pay his tuition fees. He said he had been fending for himself since he was 10 years old, with support from his mother. The suspect said his mother was paralysed and now on her sick bed.
Evans also took police to the building at Igando, where he used to camp his victims.
He said: “This house has two different apartments. I rented the building for N1 million for a year. I only kept two victims in the house. They are Chief Umeh and the pharmacist, Chief Donatus Duru. Chief Duru escaped. We collected N23 million euros from the family. We demanded 300 million euros before his family members paid us 23 million euros. They promised to bring the rest. But when we collected the money, I told my boys to release the man. They were the ones holding him. By then, I was already suspecting that policemen were closing in on me.
“I was surprised when I heard that Chief Duru escaped from the detention camp. It was one of my boys who called to inform me about the development. I am still not convinced that Uche and Emeka did not collect money from the victim’s family and released him. It was after two weeks that I received a call from my spy in the community that policemen had busted the house and recovered arms and ammunition.
“I don’t used to come here; I have boys on ground, working. They always give me information about developments on a daily basis. That alone, gave me the assurance that all was well with the victims. When I heard that the Igando house had been busted, I threatened the camp officer, Uche, that I was going to kill him. I didn’t mean it. I just wanted to get the truth about the escape of the pharmacist from him.”
Evans claimed he strongly believed in God. He said that was why he compelled his wife and children to be prayerful and concentrate on Psalm 23.
He added: “My wife doesn’t know why I was so much in love with Psalm 23. It’s because of the sins I had committed. I have always asked my children to ask for forgiveness for me and also pray that I should not die young. I believe in God, because He is the only one that can save me from the problem I find myself. I believe it was greed that pushed me into the kidnapping. I don’t believe in juju.
“I always organised my boys on the phone at detention camps. I asked my boys to do the findings about houses to rent and get back to me. I used to give them my specification of house. I don’t just rent any house, anywhere, especially because of what we used the buildings for. Before I stopped going to my village, I gave my father N3 million. I bought him a ‘jeep’ and a pickup van. I believe that part of the money I gave him was what he used to establish his piggery business. Had it been my father took care of me, I wouldn’t have become what I am today.”
Evans also accused his stepmother of being behind his life of crimes and present woes.
According to him, his stepmother used charms to destabilise his life.
The suspect claimed that the woman did that because she found out he was a child of promise. Evans denied that his stepmother gave him a Bible.
He said: “I don’t know when or where she gave me the Bible, which she claimed to have given me. My stepmother used charms to chase my mother out of my father’s house. My mother was the only one taking care of me. We are 11 children from my mother. My mother tried a lot in taking care of us. How I wish policemen would allow me to see my mother once more. She is on sick bed. I know she would be longing to see me. I am missing her.”
Evans revealed that he and his wife were planning to leave for Canada before his arrest. He noted that the woman was still in Ghana.
He added: “I love my children. Government should give me a second chance. I want to change. Those I have kidnapped should forgive me. I want to take care of my kids; police should take all what I have made from the crime world. I want to give to my children what my father could not give me. If my father had tutored me well, I wouldn’t have found myself in the trouble I am today.
“I want government to charge me to court; they should not kill me, so that my children will be able to come and see me in prison. I will be able to tell them my children that crime does not pay. I want to give them good upbringing.”
Speaking directly to other kidnappers, Evans said: “To kidnappers out there, you have seen what I’m going through. You have seen it on television and read it in newspapers. For police to have arrested me, the lord of kidnappers, I think there are no other kidnappers out there. Those who are into kidnapping should stop it. Kidnapping doesn’t pay. I have learnt my lesson. I think there are no kidnappers anywhere.
“I started drug business at the age of 25. We get most of the cocaine from Pakistan and other Asian countries. I used to take drugs to Holland, South African and some parts of Europe. We got a powder from China, which we normally rub on briefcase that contains the drug. Whenever the sniffer dogs smell the bags, they will not feel anything. That was how I was able to smuggle the drugs. Some time, I swallow the drugs. I once swallowed drug which busted in my stomach, leading to cancer. It was in 2008, that I was diagnosed with colon cancer in a hospital in Ghana. It was after I started feeling stomach ache that I went to Ghana. I also have high blood pressure. Since then, I have been treating the cancer with various drugs.”
Evans said that he attended Anglican Church at Ketu.
before he moved to Ghana. He said that members of the church knew him as a businessman.
Repeating what his wife said, Evans said: “During my first child dedication in the church, I gave N50,000. Subsequent worship service, I gave between N10,000 and N20,000, so that nobody would suspect me in the church.”
For a better society
James Uduji, the Chairman of Cometstar Cable Manufacturing Limited was kidnapped by the Evans gang for for 42 days in 2015. And to get his freedom, he paid the gang $1.2m, the highest ransom ever paid by any of Evans victims.
Uduji narrates his traumatic experience:
How he was kidnapped
On September, 2015, as I was coming back from my factory in Agbara to my home in Festac, arriving Seventh Avenue, I saw four gun men. They stopped in front of my vehicle and started shooting while I was with my two drivers in my Hilux pickup.
I was sitting at the back, thinking they were policemen. I was wondering why they were shooting and charging at us not knowing that they were kidnappers. In the process, they shot us, me and two of my drivers but luckily, nobody died. I still have a bullet in my body.
By the time I realized they were kidnappers, they dragged me out of my vehicle to their own Lexus 470 Jeep. Inside their Jeep, there were lots of arms and ammunition inside a box. They had another box at the back where they put me in.
Four guys were inside that Jeep, well-armed, even the driver had his own AK-47 riffle. They drove past Festac Link Bridge to Amowu-Odofin, around 4:30pm as if they were going to Okota. Later, they came out to Oshodi -Apapa Expressway. By this time, they had not blindfolded me but they pushed my head down, lying bare on the floor of the car. One of them just held me as I was seriously bleeding. I never knew I would survive this. I couldn’t remember the places they took me to because I was lying down.
After a long journey, they stopped at a particular area, those guys jumped down and another group came on board and zoomed off again.
As we were going, we got to one house, they called the security guard who came and opened the gate, and they brought me out, gathered water, changed their cloths and called one doctor, whether he was quack or not, I do not know.
They told the doctor they had emergency. The doctor came, washed me and treated my wound. That was the first thing they did. Though, when we were about to get to where they wanted to take me to, they blind folded me.
They were administering two injections on me daily. When I asked them the kind of injection they were giving me, they said it was anti tetanus injection and pain reliever. They refused to give me water saying that if you have bullet in your body, you don’t drink water.
The second day, Evans came there with the doctor and said to me that, he came there because of me. Yet, I did not set my eyes on him. Maybe, the person that asked them to kidnap me told them that they should not let me die.
I said this because of the kind of treatment they were giving me or maybe, it could be because of my wound. But, I was seriously bleeding. At a point, they were thinking of exchanging me. They called my brother to come and let me go out and treat myself of the bullet wound.
My elder brother accepted to come but backed out at the end because those people, you never know what they planned. May be their plan was to capture the two of us before they would kill us. It was an ugly situation.
They injected me for seven good days. From that Monday till the next Sunday, every two days, there was a particular guy that came there to treat my wounds, dress it and put the bandage again. After some days, Evans called.
Evans and his gang’s modus operandi
How they operate is that, they keep a hostage keeper, which is someone that would be guiding kidnap victims so that any time their boss wants to call, he would call that person. When he calls the person, the person would bring the phone to the victim and hold the phone for you talk to him.
They were always communicating. They did not maltreat me because of my condition but I heard them maltreating the victim in the other room with hot iron and the person would be crying.
Before they start that, they would go and put on their generator so that their neighbours would not be hearing. That guy was a terror.
His time in captivity
They were feeding me with one useless (noodles). I was just managing to eat to keep my life moving. They asked what kind of drugs I was taking but I told them I was not on drugs. I did not make trouble with them but there was a day I tried to escape. I was scared whether all the neighbours were their gang members or not.
Again, even if I would have escaped, I would have been naked because before you go to the bathroom, they take away your boxers. When you finished, you knocked at the door and turned your face to the wall as they gave you your boxer to wear.
They would blind fold you and put you in chains again. Early morning I used to hear siren and I thought, that it was police that were coming to rescue me. At the end nothing would happen. They would go. What were they coming to do there around 4:00 am to 5:00 am? I noticed that five times and I asked myself, “what the police are coming there to do?”.
I also noticed there was a construction site nearby where people were working. One particular day, one boy came in and asked “mummy, who is this uncle?”. I was listening and waited to hear what the woman would say but she did not say anything.
So, that couple that was paraded were there. I was praying every minute of the day, waiting for anything that would happen the next day. It was traumatising . So many things happened. I knew that nothing would happen to me but they would charge me more money.
You know, I paid $1.2 million. We paid it in three installments. We paid two hundred thousand dollars, eight hundred thousand dollars and another two hundred thousand dollars. He claimed that, the first two hundred dollars we paid had been cancelled because we set them up by inviting security agents to be tracking them. That’s how we were accused and that the payment had been rubbished.
He bargains with the victims, he doesn’t bargain with the families. Whatever he asked for that is what the family would pay. A person that is under chain, what would he say? Anything they asked you to do, you just had to do it because of your life. That was not joke, they meant business.
If you refused to co-operate, they would kill you. I am sure; they have killed some people there. I stayed there for six weeks. I was abducted on the 7th of September and I was released on the 19th of October, 2015.
How he was released
After I had finished paying the ransom, they still kept me for another eight days. My people were worried, and I was worried too because I did not know what was going on outside. They had cut off communication with everybody. Immediately, he collected his ransom, he traveled abroad. He goes outside to keep his ill-gotten wealth, which was obvious.
I now asked the hostage keeper, how long it takes them to release a hostage. He said four days, I now asked again, but why am I still here? He then said I should not worry, that the chairman traveled and that I would be released as soon as he returned.
He said that I should see myself as a free man and relax. The man was a greedy man. Of all the money we paid him, he didn’t feed us well. His duty, I observed, was to collect money and drop victims.
When he came back to Nigeria, he came to me where I was detained by his men and said to me that, today, you will go. He ordered his boys to bring all my belongings. My Rolex watch, my bag, my golden ring and my sandals were nowhere to be found. Not to talk of cash because all of them were criminals. All other valuables were gone.
They only brought my cloths, bank cheque books and seals and a polythene bag. And for my sandals, they bought one bathroom slippers for me. Just imagine someone coming back from his office.
Then, he asked me to hold on till the road was free; it was about 5:00 pm.
As I was waiting, he came back and called me, Nnwa which is my title name. Any time he wanted to talk to me he first called me Nnwa. When he saw my wound, he said, I was a lucky man. That, my God is a great God.
He said that, I would live up to hundred years for surviving that gunshot. I asked him why they were shooting us like that. He said in war all was fair. I then asked “you and who were fighting?. Did I have gun with me?”.
Evans now asked who was the person in front of my car. That was when they thought I was a policeman. In fact they would have killed my driver if he were a policeman. When he came down and they asked him, he told them he was just an ordinary driver. That was when they left him.
He advised me to buy a lot of drinks because many people would be coming to sympathize with me. He stressed that people were already waiting for my arrival. He said:
“Any day you are going to do thanksgiving, we are going to be there.” I now asked him, how would I know you will be there? He replied that, I shouldn’t worry; he would come and follow me to thank God. “Nnwa, but your God is great oh”.
All these things he was talking, my mind was not there because I knew he was wicked.
That evening, he brought ten thousand Naira that I should take it. That if, they drop me anywhere, I should use it to enter taxi to my house. Or if I wanted, they could drop me in a nearby hotel so that, I could call my people to come and carry me.
But I told him to just drop my anywhere he wanted. When it became dark everywhere, they took me out of that house and moved me round the city before finally dropping me around Lagos State University (LASU), side in Iyana Oba.
Even to walk was a problem because, I had been in chains for long and all my bones had grown weak. I almost fell down while trying to cross the road because of my wobbling legs. I lost so much energy that, I became weak, lean and tired.
Suya was the first thing I ate after my release from captivity. I called a motorcyclist to take me to any nearby bus stop, which he did. When I turned the other side, I saw one man selling roasted meat (Suya), I went to him and bought the meat for one thousand Naira and started eating.
My action was to soften the ground for me to start asking question that would let me know exactly where I was as by this time I never knew where I was exactly. I asked the man, how I could get to Mile 2, and he said before you get to Mile 2, you first of all get to LASU.
I asked again, how I could I get to LASU, he told me to cross the road to the other side and enter any bus that was going that way. As soon as I entered the bus, I switched on my phones and there was no single credit on my phones except the one we used as a company group. That one doesn’t need credit because we pay once in a month. I now used it to call one of my managers.
Immediately he saw my call, he knew I was out and asked me where I was so that he could come and carry me. I told him to come to LASU, I got there and was waiting for him. He was coming from Agbara axis. While there, I strolled down a bit to buy orange, one man just came to me that I should give him money in spite of my tattered appearance.
I took two thousand out of the ten thousand Evans gave to me and gave to him. I was kind of hiding so that people who knew me before would not notice me until I got home.
When my manager came, he took me straight to the house after that, I went to report officially to the police. Even the commissioner of police came to my house after that.
After that incident, I requested for police protection which I was later provided with. I was so happy when I heard that, the guy has been arrested. I thank the Nigeria police for doing a great job. That shows that if the police want to work, they could work.
*Uduji was interviewed by Vanguard
For a better society
His reputation precedes him far more than any word could ever muster. Although no longer in his elements, the man more feared for his tenacity while negotiating for ransom than the usual violent streak for which kidnappers are known, Evans incredible life of crime has captivated Nigerians. ADEDAYO ODULAJA, who spent over five hours with him days ago, tells his sordid story
He was christened Chukwumeme Onwuamadike but chose the pseudonym Evans, which later relegated his real name to the background. Although he claimed that he adopted the name while in secondary school, the alias later became a ploy to cover his tracks as a notorious kidnapper, who also had a dangerous voyage into the deadly world of armed robbery and drug trafficking. Evans was as sly as a fox and as a dangerous as the foamy race of ocean surge.
Yet, he patronised a native doctor who assured him that just like a mirage, the police could only arrest him in their imagination. These unholy combinations, perhaps, explain why he evaded arrest for five years before he met his Waterloo last week Saturday at his Magodo mansion in Lagos in an operation led by the super cop, ACP Abba Kyari, and his daring Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team.
Since then, he has remained a topic of discussion and his infamous acts have continued to intrigue Nigerians. The 36-year-old native of Nnewi, Anambra State, was paraded with much fanfare by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood, at the Lagos State Police Headquarters, Ikeja last Sunday.
According to police sources, he was declared wanted by the police as far back as 2013 following some high profile kidnappings that fetched him and members of his gang billions of Naira collected from the families of victims in form of ransom. Sitting with our correspondent for a chat lasting about five hours, Evans looked forlorn. His countenance fell just like Cain’s when God rejected his sacrifice.
This was in clear contrast to the fearful image his name invoked across the country and beyond when he held so much sway in his vast crime empire spread across the country. He unearthed the entirety of his crime-ridden existence – defying the odds while peddling drugs, being involved in robbery and kidnapping in some of the major cities of Nigeria and South Africa along with spending time, however brief, in Ghana. Evans also disclosed that he started fending for himself early in life after he was disowned by his father over an allegation of stealing.
His drug business in South Africa
“I was working as an apprentice with my father before he moved me onto a rich trader who later accused me of stealing his money. When my father asked, I denied stealing the money but he did not believe me. He did not just send me away in the end but said he had disowned me.
That was the beginning of living on my own and fending for myself,” he said. For Evans, the path of crime opened up around 2006 and 2007 when he relocated to South Africa upon losing N20million worth of goods which he said were seized by men of the Nigeria Customs Service. Kidnapping, however, was to appeal to him three years later.
He said: “I went to South Africa from Lagos, I went around 2006 or 2007 but you can check my passport. While in South Africa, I was into drug business. I wanted to move the drugs to Nigeria but I couldn’t get the channel and distribution network needed. Before then, I was selling fairly used spare parts in Ladipo, Mushin, Lagos and it was from there that I linked up with the gang with which I went for my first robbery operation although I did not do any robbery there.
I was just selling fairly used spare parts but I made contacts with gang members later on but I was able to raise enough money from selling parts there, some of which I used to relocate to SA.” Evans, who dropped out of secondary school, said he had always dreamt of making money, hence the decision to venture into business when he arrived in Lagos as a boy.
A combination of the desire to make more money and face less stress coupled with a situation that almost turned fatal led to his return to Nigeria from the rainbow nation.
“I came back the same year so I spent only one year there. I had to come back because of an issue, the issue was that most South Africans like to collect drugs without paying money so I wanted to drag the drug from one man and he brought out his gun and shot me.
Following the shooting incident, I was treated in Cape Town at the Life Claremont Hospital and once I was well again, I came back to Nigeria not long after. It was on my own; not that I was deported.” With the South Africa chapter closed, he relocated to Nigeria and made a vow that he would make it in in his country of birth either by crook of by hooks. “When I came back into the country, there were two boys: Kingsley and Ehis.
I had been in touch with both of them all along and we met and they introduced me to robbery. I met Kingsley when he came back from Libya while I met Ehis in Lagos, somewhere around Ikorodu.
“I really don’t remember how I linked up with Ehis; all I know is that it was through a phone call. To proceed with the robbery plan, I hooked up with Ehis and his boys and the first job Ehis and I did regarding kidnapping was in Edo State,” he said. How three bullion van robberies fetched his gang N400million Speaking about his robbery escapades, most of which were mainly targeted at bullion vans, Evans continued:
“I was introduced to it by a guy named ‘Too Much Money.’ The first bullion van job was in Port Harcourt, somewhere around Aba Road. We made about N70 million from the job but I don’t remember the particular year this happened.
“Usually, the process for a bullion job is always long; a lot of planning goes into it. We usually seize a truck and use it to jam the bullion van and it would lose control and then we use tear gas on the policemen and force the driver to open the back of the van to gain access to the money. So, we hijacked a truck and used the same process I just explained. We usually have sources who would keep us informed about how the cash is being moved.
Those that were working for ‘Too Much Money’ told us all we needed to know to hijack the bullion van and about 26 of us went for the operation. I was in charge of driving one of the three vehicles we used for the job and I got just around N1.5 million from the job. “After the Port Harcourt bullion van job, I met a man named ND and it took sometime before we went for another job.
Before that, we were still talking on the phone but I think it was after two or three weeks after the end of the Port Harcourt business.” It was observed that he saw all the crimes he committed as business ventures.
He never for once used the term, “robbery operation” for any of the three bullion van heists, neither did he refer to any of his kidnap-for-ransom as crime. Rather, he chose the euphemism ‘jobs’ for his kidnapping operations. As it happened in the first operations, he said he was a driver in the second bullion van operation in Enugu.
“I was in Enugu, lodged in a hotel before the job and which was paid for by ND. The job took place on the outskirt of Enugu and we made use of jazz to beat security. We made over N200miilion from the job but the unfortunate part of it was that ND didn’t give us any money. After the operation, he said all of us should go but he gave some money to his own gang members but he also gave me small money, about N300, 000. When he promised to kill the over 20 other members who took part in the job, we all left him.”
Upon hooking up with another leader of a robbery gang named Obele in the Edo-Delta state axis, Evans said he participated in yet another bullion van robbery which fetched them over N100 million. “The next bullion van job was in Umuahia in Abia State and it was led by Obele.
This happened in 2010 and we went to Old Umuahia Road to carry out the operation. There was someone inside the bank that was monitoring the van for us to know when to strike. Like other times, many of us took part in the operation, we took three vehicles and I was given about N7 million from that job.” A simple addition of the total money Evans and the gangs he joined for the three bullion van robberies puts it at around N400million.
From the N7.5 million or so he got from the third bullion van robbery, he bought a car, Honda Car popularly known as ‘Baby Boy’ and also opened a shop at ASPAMDA at the Trade Fair Complex. Trading in fuel and car accessories, he said he invested N6.2 million into the shop.
He also rented a flat at Marwa Road in Satellite Town and brought his wife to Lagos but his life out of crime was not going to last. Shifting a bit to the side that has to do with his personal life, Evans said he was married already by the time he went for the bullion van robberies.
His marital life
“I was already married during this time, the name of my wife is Precious, I met her in Nwagwu in Nnewi. So looking back now, it means I must have been married for over 11 years and my first child is over 10-year-old. Once I met my wife, we didn’t date for too long like that.
I dated her for just about six months and married her. She was in SS3 when I met her and she was preparing to sit her WAEC examination but once she got pregnant for me she had to stop anything that has to do with schooling and I went to pay something on her head (dowry).
It’s a lie that I have other wives, I have only one wife.” When asked if his wife knows about his life of crime, he simply said: “I didn’t want my wife to know and I have been very careful to hide my identity as Evans from her and my children up till the time of my arrest.
But now that I am in police custody and everything is out in the open, I don’t even have any knowledge on their whereabouts.” Asked if anyone else knows about his heavy involvement in kidnapping, drug trafficking and robbery, he said maybe only his mother.
“The other person I can talk about who knows about it is my mother. But I have not seen her for a long time, she is suffering from stroke.” So with all the money at his disposal and the love he said he had for her, why hasn’t he flown her out of the country yet? His direct answer was simply: “She is not interested.”
Paraded alongside six members of his gang including Uchechukwu Amadi and his wife, Ogechi as well as Chukwudi Nwosu alias Skido from Abia State, 36-year-old Felix Chinemerem also from Abia, Chukwuemeka Ikenna Bosah who is 28 years old and from Anambra State and 42-year-old Bayelsa State-born Suoyo Paul aka Nwana who was touted to be the gang’s armourer.
Items recovered from the gang include two double barrel guns, two AK 47 rifles, 59 AK 47 magazines, two English pistols, 1, 272 bullets, five different number plates and improvised leg chains used in restraining their victims.
The chains, which look like the types used during the dehumanising slave trade era. A police source confided in Saturday Telegraph that one of Evans’ mistresses assisted in his arrest. But when pressed to shed more light on this aspect, the source refused. “Yes we were assisted by one of his mistresses but we don’t want to put her at any risk,” the source said.
Why I collected foreign currency as ransom
A grand planner of things, Evans said he made the decision to collect ransom in foreign currency, especially dollars while not minding pounds and Euros. “I usually collect ransoms in dollars and I made the decision after my former partner, Uche, was killed along with Hunchman and others and I had to reassemble a new team. His death came from the encounter we had with the police when we wanted to kidnap the ‘Young Shall Grow’ man, Chief Vincent Obianodo.
“His security shot at us as there was a gun battle, Uche and two others died in the process and I had to flee from the scene in my car, one other guy who was shot in the car I was driving later died and I abandoned the body.
“After the incident, I escaped to Abuja for things to cool off for a while. I was in Abuja for about two months and once I got back to Lagos, I went to secure the ‘materials’ we were using for the job and reassembled my team.
The thing about kidnapping is that the person who owns the materials (guns, hideout and vehicles) is usually seen as the owner of the job and now fully in charge, I took the decisions and became the person now leading the team in every area and also rented a house at Igando”.
Apart from other kidnappings in Edo State, where he, along with others, made sums ranging between N10 and N40million for each operation, Evans was able to amass a fortune running into over N1billion from kidnapping numerous businessmen in Lagos, with at least four of them paying $1million each.
Evans, working with Ehis and Harrison, organised some of the biggest kidnappings in Edo State in the last few years. Some of the people they kidnapped include the boss of King Paints (N7m), Randeki (N11m), Uyi Technical boss (N100m) as well as Dan Odite around the same time. According to him, other associates who negotiated with the Odite’s family Henry, said the money paid was $27,000.
It was while in Edo State, with the stakes rising fast, that he decided to relocate his young family to Ghana. Settling them in Tema in Accra, the capital of the former Gold Coast, Evans felt more empowered to fly as much as he could.
Why I left Edo for Lagos
When he decided to relocate to Lagos, a move necessitated by the surging number of kidnappers in Edo and with the operational space becoming smaller, he rented an apartment at Lakeview Estate in Amuwo Odofin and fully came back to Lagos in 2013.
With Lagos as his new playing field along with his gang, they started with Raymond Okoye, a generator dealer kidnapped on one of his days of frequenting a bar on 21 Road, Festac Town in Lagos.
After days of standing firm in conversations with the man’s family, they ended up paying between N30million and N40 million, out of which Evans said he got N35million. Others include the boss of Uchesons, a man kidnapped at 6th Avenue also in Festac. A man from Okija, Anambra State, who resides in Ajao Estate, was next and they got N60 million after keeping him for weeks. Once on his own, the two businessmen at the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), better known as Trade Fair, were the first Evans would kidnap.
With the abductions done around the same time, it fetched him $1million each from the two men. One of them, Udoji, who was picked from around his residence at Agbara, was injured in the process.
Bleeding profusely hours after he was abducted, Evans said it led him into going online to get information on how to stop the bleeding while making it clear to the man’s wife who was abroad and whom he was speaking with at the time that the injury was as a result of an accident.
Other victims are Ojukwu Comsom, who was kidnapped in front of his house in Festac and ended up paying 350,000 Euros and Francis Umeh whose family had to cough up $300,000 for him to regain his freedom.
A pharmacist known as Donatus was also one of his victims but despite the man’s family members paying as much as 228,000 Euros, he was not released until he luckily escaped.
His houses in Magodo, Ejigbo and Igando and operations cars
Moving to Magodo in 2014 after purchasing a house from a real estate firm in charge of numerous houses at the pricey location, Evans consolidated by further spreading his tentacles. He bought two other houses for keeping his victims, one in the densely populated Ejigbo part of Lagos and another in Igando, bringing the number of his houses in Igando to two and adding three new vehicles; a Grand Cherokee SUV, Lexus 460 SUV and a Hilux which was solely for operations.
So sophisticated was Evans’ operational model that the members of his three different gangs could hardly reach him on their own; the conversation had to be initiated from his end and most times, the direction was one-sided. One of the phones he used was a satellite phone which doesn’t use a SIM and cannot be tracked It was learnt that while most of the people Evans had worked with are dead, a few are serving jail terms across the country, but neither the dead nor those serving jail term could be linked with him.
He operated like a cult but even the initiated who were members of his gang had no contact with him except shortly before or during their operations. According to him, he is still trying to adjust to the harsh reality of his arrest.
“I can say my arrest was the handiwork of God because of all the security measures I put in place. In my house in Magodo, I have all round security completed with CCTVs that monitor anyone coming in or going out. According to CSP Moshood, the Force Public Relations Officer, some high-profile victims of the Evans kidnap gang include James Uduji, Uche Okoroafor.
Pharmacist’s kidnap, my toughest
Speaking of his victims, Evans said: “I didn’t know it was going to turn out that way. I usually don’t know names of people I kidnapped in Festac. But if I see them, I will tell you what I did to them. I have people who gave me information about my victims. The pharmacist job is the only one that gave us a problem. I keep my victims for months because I want their people to pay the ransom I demanded. I have people cooking for my victims, one of them stays in the house; his name is Uche.
“We kept him (the pharmacist) at Uche’s house in New Ignado but he managed to escape. The other boy is from Aguleri. The boy is a new person, but Uche is old.” On his Magodo houses, he said: “I bought the houses in Magodo GRA for N130 million and N100 million.
Evans, described as a very brilliant but vicious kidnapper by the police, said he kept many gangs and did not interact with many of his gang members on a personal note which made it difficult to pin him down.
Asked why almost all his victims were from the South East, he said it was just a business decision. Trending like a furious rainstorm since the story broke on Saturday, it is a matter that has got Nigerians numbed owing to the sheer bravado of his operations and the range of Evans’ reach while living a life of luxury in the midst of the high and mighty as an everyday Nigerian.
For a better society
Billionaire kidnapper, Chukwumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans, yesterday disclosed that his arrest would not have been possible but for his charms which failed at the last minute. This came as family members denied knowing the whereabouts of Evans’ mother, Mrs. Chinwe Onwuamadike. Evans said he had believed in the efficacy of the charms of his native doctor, based in Nnewi, Anabra State.
The native doctor, according to him, is a traditional ruler. He was described as the backbone of Evans’ criminal activities, egging him on and telling him that no policeman born of a woman would ever be able to catch or arrest him. According to Evans, after policemen stormed his Igando residence, where he used to keep victims, leading to gang members fleeing, he had run to the native doctor. He said: “The native doctor resides in Nnewi, Anambra State.
He is a traditional ruler. After police busted our Igando hideout, he told me to have no fear. He said nothing would happen. He told me that nobody would be able to catch or arrest me. I believed him. I don’t know what went wrong.” Meanwhile, Evans’ Uncle, Daniel Nwosu, who is bed-ridden, said he had not seen his sister, the suspect’s mother, in a very long time. He stands as the head of the Nwosu’s family in Akamili village, Umudim, Nnewi.
He said that it was only Chinwe’s husband, Stephen Onwuamadike, who would be able to give account of her whereabouts. In an exclusive interview with New Telegraph yesterday, Nwosu said: “I don’t have anything to say because I don’t know anything about the boy (Evans). If I see him now, I may not even recognise him. “It’s been a very long time I saw him last. He doesn’t come home or visit his maternal home.
So, what can I say about him? You know children have a way with their mothers. It’s possible she knows what Chidumeme (Evans) is into or not. It is the father or mother that can talk about their child. I don’t have anything to say, but I appeal to the authorities to have mercy on him and forgive him. “Children of this generation do not listen to advice; if not, why would he delve into such bad business, knowing the implications. It is because of money? See where it has got him.”
Although Nwosu insisted he didn’t know the whereabouts of his sister, he disclosed that when he heard the news of Evans’ arrest via a phone call, he called Chidumeme’s mother to find out what was going on but she didn’t pick the call. She also didn’t call back. Nwosu said that he had not been communicating with Chinwe for a long time because the woman did not reach out to them.
He said: “I have not spoken with Chidumeme’s mother for a very long time and I don’t know where she is and what is happening around her. She should be up there in her husband’s house, but now I’m hearing she is not there. I don’t understand what is happening. It’s unfortunate and sad. She is just who she is. I have been sick and bed-ridden for a long time. I don’t go out at all hence; I don’t know what is happening around here.”
The long distance ride to Evans’ maternal home led to the discovery of a house allegedly built by Evans’ mother for one of her brothers. The said brother is based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. However, the maternal home of the kidnap kingpin showed a quiet middle class home with a Rav 4 ‘Jeep’ parked in a garage. Evans’ father had earlier said that his estranged wife left her matrimonial home without telling anybody where she was going to.
Stephen also denied the rumour making the round that he divorced Evans’ mother. He said: “I cannot divorce her because we took an oath on our wedding. The oath is that we will be together for better or worse, till death do us part.
Death is the only thing that can separate us. I did not also disown Evans as is being circulated. “He remains my son. If he is given a second chance and he returns home, I will welcome and accept him. It was sad I didn’t know what he was into; if not, I would have been the one to stop him, by bringing my friends in the force to arrest and torture him to stop.”
Source: New Telegraphy
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