If there was an award for the most popular alleged criminal in Nigeria, the inglorious crown would sit perfectly on the head of Chukwudubem Onwumadiek, better known as Evans, whose reign in the kingdom of kidnappers came to an end on Saturday June 10, 2017 when he was arrested by the police intelligence response team led by Abba Kyari, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Before his arrest, the notorious kidnapper had been a pain in the neck of security officials and wealthy Nigerians who were his prey. Evans played his devilish game so well that most of his gang members did not know his true identity until he was arrested.
Kyari had revealed that Evans was arrested at his residence in Magodo Estate, where he lived with his wife and children. However, they were not at home when his illegal journey came to an end.
“IRT headquarters in Abuja is celebrating the arrest of the most wanted brilliant and notorious high profile kidnapper in Nigeria,” he said back then.
“He has collected several billions of naira as ransom in the last seven years as the kingpin of kidnappers. Evans was said to have masterminded kidnapping operations in Anambra, Edo and Lagos, with Lagos placing a N30million bounty on him. He was arrested at about 1pm on Saturday, June 10, at his residence in Magodo Estate, Lagos.”
However, since his arrest, the name Evans has not ceased to appear in the press and social media —surprisingly for his penchant for crying at every given opportunity.
First cry — Arrest day
According to a family source, Evans was warned by a prophet about an “impending danger”, but he turned a deaf ear.
“I saw him at the ASPAMDA market, Trade Fair market, Lagos. I was telling him about the rumours making the rounds that he was a kidnapper, but he denied it, telling me that the allegation was a lie,” said the relative.
“Well, as we were talking, a prominent prophet walked in and warned him about impending danger. Evans still denied that he was doing something dubious.”
Evans, whose victims suffered various degrees of inhumane treatment, cried profusely on the day of his arrest, blaming his herbalist for his woes.
“My juju man said that I was like the wind that can never be seen,” he said in tears. “I trusted him, but see how I was picked like a common criminal. If I have my way, the juju man will pay for his sins.”
Second cry — media interview
A few days after his arrest, while still regretting his action, Evans spoke with a journalist whom he told that he was ready to die.
“I want to die. I can’t stand this humiliation. What am I living for? When I saw the policeman dash towards me I ran inside. I was not running to escape. I ran to see if I could end it before they could take me. But time was short. They followed me into the room. I have seen it all, I want to die and have some rest,” he said in tears.
“The only thing I want now is for the government to take care of my children, educate them and don’t allow them to become criminals. I have begged Abba Kyari, to do this for me and he assured me that the Lagos State government would take them to an orphanage home where they would grow to become better persons in the society. I have been diagnosed with Colon cancer and I wish I could die.”
Third cry — Prison
As the police continued with its interrogation, Evans, who started out as an armed robber, continued crying in cell. “He has been weeping uncontrollably because he is in a cell with common poor criminals despite all the wealth and mansions he owned,” a police source confirmed.
Fourth cry — Ikeja High Court
While standing trial before Justice Hakeem Oshodi on Friday, November 17, 2017, Evans broke down in tears as he complained to the court about the feeding and care for inmates at the prison.
He claimed that prison authorities deprived him of change of clothes, food, and water.
"This is unfair, I have not been given food and change of clothes,” he said in tears. “I was not given the opportunity to bathe since Wednesday. I am seriously hungry now. They locked us in one place, no food and no water to bathe. The last we were fed was when a wife of one of us brought food."
Evans’ lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, asked the court to grant the accused permission to have access to food, saying: "Apart from being starved, my lord, they are locked up in solitary confinement with no access to anybody. If this continues, they may not be in the right frame of mind to continue the trial.”
Fifth cry — Ikeja High Court
On Monday, at the Lagos State High court, where he was arraigned on two fresh charges of kidnapping, Evans signalled to the judge that he wanted to say something.
“I have an explanation to make," he said in handcuffs "Since I have been in the maximum prison, they have been maltreating me; no visit, they don’t feed me well, I have eye problem and I cannot see afar.”
Refuting his claim, one of the prison officials said: “We have been treating him very well; he is well-fed and people have been visiting him.
“A doctor has been checking him; the doctor came to check him yesterday (Sunday) and even this morning before coming to court... because he was saying he can’t be in court, that he is not feeling fine.
“But when the doctor checked him yesterday (Sunday) and this morning, the doctor said he was healthy and that he saw no reason why he shouldn’t be in court."
Immediately the Judge left the courtroom, Evans began to cry, saying: "What have I done to you people? They have been beating me; no good food; I have been locked up in one place since August 30 last year; why are they taking my case personally? Let me face my trial alive, why do you people want to kill me."
For someone whom the Police said was brazen in his manner of punishing his victims, Evans would have been expected to be more hard-hearted while facing trial. This hasn't happened; instead, his frequent cries have left many wondering if he is a crybaby.