The sensational life – big crime and luxury – of a kidnap kingpin Chukwudubem George Onwuamadike (aka Evans), has collapsed with a tripe of regrets.
He yesterday advised those in the illicit trade to quit.
“I am feeling bad. People who are still into kidnapping should quit. They should learn from what has happened to me,” he told reporters when he was paraded at the Lagos Command Headquarters in Ikeja.
Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent (CSP), who paraded him and his gang, said Evans ran a highly sophisticated operation where members did not know themselves.
Others paraded are Felix Chinemerem, Nwosu Chikodi Chukwuma (aka Sado), 42, Suoyo Paul (aka Nwana), 42, Ikenna Emeka, 28, Uchechukwu Amadi and Ogechi Amadi.
Evans, who relived his sojourn in the underworld, said: “I was into auto spare parts importation but lost all my money (over N25m) when Customs seized my goods. From there, I relocated to South Africa, where I started peddling drugs. But along the line, my business partner shot me and passed me off as dead. I recuperated, returned to Nigeria and decided to start kidnapping rich men for ransom.”
He said he started the evil trade under the late notorious Chyna, adding that he was among those who attempted to kidnap the owner of Young Shall Grow Motors, Chief Vincent Obianodo.
Two members of the gang, he said, were killed in the operation in which Chyna died. He started his own gang, adding that he has six men in Lagos, who he sends to any part of the country to operate.
They went in groups of three or four to execute any mission, Evans said, adding that others were recruited for particular operations and discharged once the job was done.
The suspect claimed that he never killed adding that most killings were done by his gang members.
He named, Urchman, Uche and Nnamdi as those who carried the gang’s weapons, adding that Chinedu and Ehis brought contacts and names of those to be kidnapped. Evans claimed to have kidnapped 10 people since he started his gang in 2015. He said two of his victims, Uyi Technical and Dan Odete, who brought N100million and N50million ransom, were picked up during the late Chyna’s reign. He got N10million from the operation.
Evans said: “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. Does money stay with a human being? (He queried reporters in Igbo).
“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 for the job. Most times, I control them on phone. The two gangs do not know themselves and neither of them knows my house.
“Two people take charge of the detention camp at Igando and on every operation, I pay them N2million 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 traveled and I also give money to people to buy whatever I need or I buy online.
“Most of our victims are targeted and picked along the road or before they enter their homes. We do not pick victims from their homes”.
On how he was arrested, Evans said he believed 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,” he said.
“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 not me because he was the one who said I should rent a house for them with his wife’s name.
Chinemerem, 36, who claimed Evans usually called them and sent messages with hidden numbers whenever the need arose, said he met the kingpin when he (Chinemerem) returned from Malaysia.
According to him, the highest amount he collected from Evans was N200,000, which he described as a gift.
Ogechi Amadin, who is said to be the suspect’s chef, claimed that she knew nothing about the gang, adding that her husband used her name to get an accommodation at Igando.
Her husband, she said, told her he was going into drug business and wanted to relocate them to Lagos. The woman, who claimed to be a petty trader in Port Harcourt, said she agreed that her name be used to secure the accommodation and contacted her friend, Ngozi, for help.
She claimed she had only visited the place once (last July), adding that her husband sent her N600,000 once for their rent and children’s school fees in Rivers State.
‘We kidnapped Young Shall Grow’
Amadi said he first met Evans in 2013, on his return from Malaysia, after a woman he promised to marry threw him out for keeping a wife and son in Nigeria.
According to him, he met the kingpin at Maza-Maza,Mile II, where Evans was buying rolls of nylon used for sachet water.
“One day, he asked me to follow him. They had a convoy of three vehicles. I was not told where we were going to, but we went to Festac. That was when I knew it was kidnapping because it was the Young Shall Grow attempted kidnap.
“After that day, I relocated to Port Harcourt. But last year, Evans called me to move back to Lagos, that he was going to help me secure an accommodation and start up a business for me. I discussed it with my wife and she called her friend,Ngozi,who helped to get the accommodation. I told my wife I was going into drug business. I didn’t tell her it was kidnapping. I have not received any money from Evans since then.”
‘Evans gave me N3m for arms’
Suoyo Paul, 42, an ex-militant from Bayelsa State, said he met Evans in 2008 when he was in the camp as a militant.
He said his boss, Peter, gave Evans two rifles, adding that when he embraced the Amnesty offer of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, he lost contact with Evans.
“But I ran into Barrister Evans’ friend in Port Harcourt. He was the one who reintroduced me to Evans. In the course of our discussions, Evans said he had lost all the arms he purchased from Peter, my former master. He gave me N3m to get new guns for him. In the course of our telephone communications, police tracked me down to Port Harcourt and arrested me.”
How gang operated, by police
Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood said five AK47 and 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.
Inspector General of Police’ (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Lagos Police Command and Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU) busted the gang, he said.
“In every kidnap attack, he has a separate armed group that takes victims with them and has another armed group that takes the victims to their hideouts and prevents them from escaping. The members of the two groups do not know themselves. They comply with his instructions.
“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 N300million. He has two houses in highbrow area of Accra, Ghana, among many other properties, such as exotic cars, expensive watches, jewelery he bought from ransom.”