Chukwudi Dumeme Onwuamadike is known in the underworld as Evans. His name is terror to security agencies, including the Police. He was declared wanted six years ago and he had remained elusive since the attempted kidnap of the owner of the Young Shall Grow Motors, Chief Vincent Obianodo at FESTAC Town, Lagos in 2012.
During the kidnap attempt, a police orderly attached to Obianodo was killed, three gang members lost their lives while Obianodo was wounded.
Recently, a kidnap victim escaped from his enclave at Igando and informed the Lagos State Police Command of the hideouts.
The Police stormed the place, but Evans slipped through their fingers. However, a cache of arms and ammunition was recovered.
The Inspector General Of Police ordered his Intelligence Response Team(IRT) led by ACP Abba Kyari to smoke him out.
On Saturday evening, operatives of IRT picked him in one of his mansions at Magodo area of Lagos.
Evans and his gang members were paraded, yesterday, at Command Headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), ACP Jimoh Taiwo, who said the arrest was the beginning of the end of kidnappings in Nigeria.
“This is a success story for the police,” he noted.
Evans told newsmen: “I was able to evade police arrest because I was too wise. I am the only surviving member of our initial gang. I learnt kidnapping from China who was also killed. I formed my gang and my members formed their own gang which is an adhoc gang. I told Uche to hire two flats at Igando. When we get victims, we have people that will receive them and hand over to another gang who would hand over to another person that looks after the victims. None of these gang members know themselves, so it is difficult to know me. The only person that knows me very well is my second in command, Felix, but he does not know where I stay.
“I have two houses in Magodo Estate and two other in Accra Ghana. I have 11 phones and they are for different gangs. I don’t use a phone for two gangs.The one for my immediate family members is different from that of extended family. I tried as much as I could to keep off from trouble and the people I know. I am still puzzled the way I was picked in my house like a common criminal.
“It is true I don’t collect Naira for ransom. I collect Dollars. And I don’t reduce ransom. If I say $1 million, it is final. This was because of what I went through in life. It’s not because I am wicked.
“I was into auto parts importation but lost all my money (over N25 million) when Customs seized my goods. I relocated to South Africa, where I started peddling drugs. Along the line, my business partner shot me thinking I was dead. I recuperated, returned to Nigeria and decided to start kidnapping rich people for ransom.
“The police see me as a bad man. I am not evil. I have never killed. The victims who died were killed by Urchman, Uche and Nnamdi. They were the ones who carried weapons. Chinedu and Ehis brought contacts and names of victims to be kidnapped. We have kidnapped about 10 people since I started my own gang in 2015. Uyi Technical and Dan Odete paid N100 million and N50 million ransom respectively. I got N10 million as share.
“The highest amount I have collected was $1 million from Festac. I don’t know my networth. I don’t have any money in the bank. I operate only one account. I collect dollars because it’s my choice. It’s not true that victims pay money to an account in South Africa.
“Once the victims pay the ransom, the money goes to the people who own it. I don’t have a boss but some people own the money.
“I have people heading different sections. There are two gangs that work for me in every operation. It is not all the time I follow them. Most times, I control them on phone. The two gangs do not know themselves and none of them know my house.
“Two people take charge of the detention camp at Igando and on every operation, I pay them N2 million each. My parents are in the village. My mother knows what I do but she has never approved of it. I have five children- three boys and two girls. I sent my family to Canada.
“I have dual citizenship – Nigeria and Ghana. I got visa for my family in Ghana because I couldn’t get it in Nigeria. I have not left Nigeria since 2007 that I returned from South Africa but my family usually travelled and I also give money to people to buy whatever I need or I buy online.
“Most of our victims are targetted and picked along the road or before they enter their homes. We do not pick victims from their homes. I believe it was time for me to be arrested, that was why I was caught because I have always been in Nigeria. I am suffering from abdominal cancer and I am always on drug.
“Uche Amadin is incharge of the detention camp at Igando. At first, I told him I was into international business (drugs) but along the line, he knew it was kidnapping and he stayed with me. He was the one who brought his wife into it. He was the one who said we should rent a house at Igando in his wife’s name.”
According to the Police spokesman, five AK47, an AK 49 rifles, two double barrel long guns, two English pistols, 59 AK47 magazines with ammunition, 1,272 9mm live AK47 ammunition and five number plates were recovered from the gang in the joint operation carried out by the IRT and the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Lagos Police Command and Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).
“This is a huge success for Nigeria Police. The force would build on this success and continue to prevent kidnap cases and criminality in the country. He has two mansions in Magodo GRA Phase II worth about N300 million. He has two houses in highbrow area of Accra,Ghana, among many other properties such as exotic cars, expensive watches,jewelries, he bought from proceed of ransom,” the PPRO said.