Nigeria Police Force officers paraded a notorious kidnap gang leader, Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike, also known as “Evans,” and six of his co-conspirators at the Lagos State Police Command on Sunday.
According to CSP Jimoh Moshood, public relations officer for the NPF, the suspects were arrested by the Intelligence Response Team, the Lagos State Police Command’s Anti-Kidnapping Unit, and the NPF Technical and Intelligence Unit on Saturday.
Officers stormed the kidnappers’ den and engaged in a gun battle which lasted several hours before arresting Mr. Onuamadike and six of his gang members in Ikeja, Lagos State, according to the press release issued by Mr. Moshood.
Mr. Onuamadike was first declared wanted in August 2013 for the attempted kidnapping of Chief Vincent Obianudo, the owner of a Lagos-based transportation company. Mr. Obianudo survived the attempt, as police officers foiled the scheme, killing three of Mr. Onuamadike’s gang members in the process.
According to the police, the gang primarily kidnapped victims in Lagos State but have also kidnapped prominent Nigerians from Northern states.
Their victims include: Mbarikatta William Uboma, Paul Cole, Mohammed Jamal (a Lebanese national), Kingsley Nwokenta, Anthony Ozoanidobi, Leo Abraham, Ojukwu Cosmas, James Uduji, Chief Raymond Okoye, Uche Okoroafor, Elias Ukachukwu, Francis Umeh, and Danatus Dunu.
The police explained that the gang held their victims captive at House No. 21 Prophet Asaye Close New Igando, Lagos State. The gang would demand millions of dollars in ransom in exchange for the victims, some of whom were held for several months.
Such high ransom payments allowed Mr. Onuamadike to purchase choice properties and luxuries, including two mansions in Magodo GRA Phase 2 worth an estimated N300m, two houses in Accra, Ghana, and exotic cars, expensive watches, and jewelry.
The gang members arrested alongside Mr. Onuamadike were identified as: Felix Chinemerem, Nwosu Chikodi Chukwuma, Uchechukwu Amadi, Ogechi Amadi, Suoya Paul, and Ikenna Emeka.
Police recovered the following arms from the notorious gang: five AK-47 rifles, one AK-49 rifle, two double-barrel rifles, two English pistols, 59 AK-47 magazines with ammunition, 1272 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition, and five different plate numbers.
The public relations officer described the arrest of Mr. Onuamadike and his gang as a “huge success,” ensuring Nigerians that the Force would continue its efforts to prevent kidnappings and prosecute perpetrators.