By Christopher Orji and Chioma
The Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), has arrested a soldier and declared four others wanted for being members of the gang of the alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans, who is now in police custody.
This came on the heels of the explanation of the Lagos State Police Command as to why it is still holding Evans without charging him to court.
In a press release, the Lagos State Police Command gave the name of the arrested soldier as Lance Corporal Victor Chukwunonso with Army No: 09/NA/64/6317. He was attached to the Nigeria Army Band Corps Abalti Barracks, Surulere, Lagos.
Chukwunonso who is a native of Onitsha, Anambra State, was arrested in Ojo area of Lagos. He was alleged to have received various sums of money three times from Evans (N2million, N1.5million and N3million) as his share of the ransoms paid by some of the victims he assisted in kidnapping.
Prior to the Lagos Police Command issuing the press release, a dependable police source had told Sunday Sun: “Four other soldiers who were named by Evans during interrogation have been declared wanted. They have been named as the formidable forces behind his successful reign as a kidnapper.
“IRT arrested Nonso and handed him over to us. We are keeping him in our custody, but I won’t tell you where he is kept because of the sensitive nature of the case. I don’t know how you got the information, but it is true. We have a soldier in our custody; Evans named some soldiers as the ones who always accompanied his gang on each operation.
“Well, we are still conducting investigations, to unmask more persons that aided him. It is a serious issue that soldiers would be supporting evil such as kidnapping,” he said. However, the Lagos State Police Command yesterday explained why Evans had not been charged to court.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, who addressed the press said: “Evans is a special kind of criminal that needs proper debriefing. We are using him as a case study. This is a man that has committed a lot of crimes. He struck in Abuja, Anambra, Imo, South-south and South-west states. You can see the magnitude of crimes that he committed.”
Owoseni, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Dansuki Galadanchi, further said: “We are still studying Evans. There are more revelations and more arrests each week. You can’t just charge such crafty criminal like Evans to court. He needs more debriefing, which is what we are still doing.”
He also explained why a suspect, Emeka, who was arrested in connection with Mr Donatus Duru’s abduction was released.
“The police did not release Emeka, we charged him to court after Evans and his gang told us that they have never met him. We did identification parade and he was not identified. We also did voice analysis and experts could not identify his voice in all the telephone conversations Evans did with his phones. Evans said there was no way Emeka would have known his enclave since those who go for kidnapping did not know the place. They kidnapped and those who kept the victims would meet them on the way and pick the victims. After painstakingly interrogating Emeka and members of the gang of Evans, we found no evidence against him, but we charged him to court and the court released him.
‘‘His former boss, Duru saw reasons with the court, so there was no foul play in his release.”
Why Evans may escape death penalty
By Olakunle Olafioye
Arrested billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans, may escape the death penalty despite the magnitude of his atrocious exploits in the country in more than a decade.
Evans who had been on the radar of security operatives was arrested on Saturday, June 10, following the miraculous escape of one of his numerous victims, Donatus Dunu from the gang’s den in Igando, a suburb of Lagos metropolis.
Dunu, a pharmacist was abducted by Evans’ gang on February 14 and was held hostage for almost three months until his escape in the early hours of May 12.
The state anti-kidnapping law, The Prohibition of the Act of Kidnapping Law imposes a penalty of life imprisonment on kidnapping for ransom and stipulates death penalty where a victim dies in the course of kidnap.
Although there are allegations that some people were killed in the course of the operation of Evans’ gang, lawyers contended that the suspect might escape death penalty since his operations in which people were allegedly killed took place before the Lagos anti-kidnapping law was signed.
Reacting to the issue, the National President, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR and lawyer, Malachy Ugwummadu noted that since the present position of the law in Nigeria was that a criminal must be tried within the jurisdiction of where he allegedly commits the offence for which he is arrested, Evans can be effectively tried in Lagos where he is believed to have committed most of his criminal exploits.
“The present position of the law is that an accused person should be tried within the jurisdiction where he allegedly commited the offence. So Evans can be tried everywhere because he was alleged to have committed the offences in several states in the country but most of the kidnappings he was involved in were carried out in Lagos.
“But the issue is that at the time he allegedly committed those offences was the anti-kidnapping law of Lagos State in existence? People will ask that question but that question is immaterial because the law does not take a retroactive effect. The law takes effect from the day it is signed. Anybody who violates the law after the law has been signed can be tried under the law,” he said.
Ugwummadu, however noted that death penalty was not the solution to the crime saying empirical research had shown that capital punishment does not lead to deterrence.
Evans’ presumed last operation took place on February 14, 2017 without a report of anybody getting killed during the operation.
Speaking in the same vein, another lawyer, Ebun Adegoruwa said Evans’ crimes which predated the recently signed anti-kidnapping law in Lagos could not be tried under the new law.
“Evans cannot be tried under the anti-kidnapping law of Lagos State because our legal system does not allow retroactive legislation. In order words, the government cannot enact a law and backdate it to cover the events that happened before the law was enacted.
Virtually all the kidnappings he carried out had happened before Governor Akinwunmi Ambode signed the anti-kidnapping bill into law. In that regard he would be tried under the existing criminal code of law of Lagos State and not under the new law. So he cannot get death penalty and he cannot get life imprisonment. He would be tried under the existing law then and the existing law has nothing to do with death penalty; it does not have anything to do with life imprisonment,” he said.
Adegoruwa also pointed out that death penalty or life imprisonment could not be successfully used in fighting crimes.
“We must know that we cannot exterminate criminality through fiat or legislation. All over the world, death penalty and life imprisonment have never been deterrence otherwise people should no longer engage in drug trafficking or killing or armed robbery. The government should create opportunity for the youth to excel,” he said.
Similarly, Barrister Onyekachi Ubani also maintained that the offences for which the suspect was arrested could not be tried under the new law of Lagos state as they were committed before the bill was signed into law by the state governor. “If the bill was signed before his offence it can be binding on him but if it was after he had committed the offence that the bill became law that means he cannot be tried under it,” he said.
Evans exonerates suspected informant after 40 days in detention
- I saw hell –Egbulugha, suspected informant
By Chioma Igbokw
The last has not been heard of all that transpired during and after the arrest of Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias, Evans. While victims recount their ordeal in Evans’ detention camp, a pharmacist, Emeka Godson Egbulugha was detained by the Lagos State Police Command for 40 days because one of the victims of the kidnap kingpin, Chief Donatus Dunu alleged that he heard Egbulugha’s voice while in the kidnapper’s den.
Chief Donatus Dunu was reportedly abducted on Feburary 14, 2017 and kept in captivity at Igando area of the state for over 90 days. He miraculously escaped after his family members paid a ransom of N150m.
After his escape, Chief Dunu in an exclusive interview with one of the national dailies alleged that it was Emeka, his staff that was the mastermind behind his kidnap. In that report he was quoted to have said: “After about two days, I heard a voice that sounded like my pharmacist, Emeka and it was while I was eating. Normally while eating, I used to raise the blindfold up small to enable me to see. He asked them where they kept me. As he was talking, ours eyes met and he shuddered. He now withdrew, but before he left, he asked them whether they have contacted my brothers and they said no.
“I heard Emeka discussing with manager but what drew my attention was when the manager said “….ehh…for that reason, we don’t have choice than to kill him, we would kill him. We don’t have alternative than to kill him. I overheard Emeka calling my staff from there. He was complaining that I was very wicked, that this was what I have done to some persons. He was complaining that one of my pharmacists was not cooperating.”
Emeka and others were rounded up and detained by the anti-kidnap unit of the Lagos State Police Command.
Surprisingly, both Evans and other members of his gang denied knowing Emeka or any staff of the pharmaceutical company. On Emeka’s arrest, Sunday Sun gathered through a reliable police source at the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, that while Chief Dunu was still in the kidnapper’s den, his family member indicted Emeka as a possible suspect. The police who were desperate to bring to an end the reign of Evans quickly arrested Emeka. Weeks later Chief Dunu escaped from his captors’ den and told the police that indeed it was Emeka that arranged his kidnap.
Luckily, Evans was finally nabbed and brought face-to-face with his alleged informant, Emeka.
The police got the shock of their lives when Evans and his gang members could not identify Emeka.
According to our police source, Emeka was immediately released on bail. “It was really embarrassing because we detained this man and several others for 40 days. It is obvious that the Emeka that Chief Dunu was referring to could be one of Evan’s gang members who is still at large. The Emeka who is a native of Nnewi in Anambra fled to Edo as soon as he learnt that his boss had been arrested.”
How his ordeal started
Emeka, who spoke with journalists yesterday said: “I graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. I am a pharmacist by profession. In 2013, Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, employed me as a medical representative. In 2014, Chief Donatus Dunu, the Chief Executive Officer of the company accused his then Superintendent Pharmacist of embezzlement of fund. The pharmacist later sued Chief Dunu and the company to court; the case is still pending. Following my performance in the same year, he promoted me to the post of a Superintendent Pharmacist. In the course of my work, I combined the job of a Superintendent Pharmacist with that of a Medical Representative in order to please him.
“On February 14, 2017, Chief Dunu was kidnapped and the senior staff heard of it on February 15, 2017. We then all started fasting and praying for him to be released and I personally went to church to pray for him and the entire church members also prayed for his release.”
Just like other staffers, Emeka continued his daily activities (supply of pharmaceutical products to customers) till he received a call from the Human Resources Manager (HRM) requesting that he should proceed to the office. “To my greatest surprise, on May 12, 2017, I was at the University of Lagos for a supply when Mr. Gbenga (HRM) of Maydon Pharmaceutical called and asked where I was; I told him that I was at Unilag Pharmacy. He asked me if I was coming to office immediately and I told him that I needed to go to Ikeja (Mother & Child Hospital) for another supply before returning to the office.
Road to hell
“When I finished the supply, I rushed back to my office and within a few minutes, some policemen and women came into my office and asked me if I was Emeka, I said yes. They asked me my duty in the company, I told them that I am the Superintendent Pharmacist they said yes, that I was the one they were looking for. They handcuffed and took me to Ilupeju Police Station where I was beaten up and accused of kidnapping my boss. The police told me that while the kidnappers were holding my boss, he heard my voice calling the person in charge of warehouse to load goods worth N7million. Within the space of 45 minutes, the staff in charge of warehouse were brought inside the cell at Ilupeju Police Station, and later, they took us to Anti-kidnapping & Anti-Cultism Office at Surulere, Lagos.”
According to Emeka, he was happy and looking forward to gaining his freedom when police discovered that all the allegations of theft against him were false. That excitement was frustrated when his boss who had escaped from the kidnappers den alleged that he visited the kidnapper’s hideout. “On 13th May 2017, the policemen started their investigation. They took me and the staff in-charge of the warehouse to our houses, in handcuffs, for a search. At my house, they took the sim cards of my mobile phones, laptop and cheque books for further investigation. Three weeks after our detention, the policemen went to the warehouse with the person in charge of the warehouse in company of Chief Dunu’s elder brother, Mr. Anslem Dunu, the Chief Accountant, the Director of Business and Development and assistant warehouse keeper, and they found out that his claim of looting his warehouse was not true. His goods were intact. Some goods were even surplus.
“After the stocktaking, Chief Dunu told the police that he had additional statement to make. It was at this time, that Chief Dunu claimed he saw me in the place he was kept in captivity by the kidnappers. Whilst in detention, the warehouse keeper and I prayed and fasted daily for Almighty God to vindicate us from this false accusation and character assassination.
“On 19th May 2017, the policemen took us to Yaba Magistrate Court to obtain a detention order from the court pending further investigation. The court asked them to return on 6th June 2017 to inform the court of the status of their investigation. On that 6th June, the police asked for three additional weeks to detain us but our lawyers opposed the application and applied for our bail. The court adjourned to 16 June 2017 for ruling on our bail application.”
Help from above
With no other means to convince his boss of his innocence, Emeka resorted to praying and fasting. Heaven heard their prayers when operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) captured Evans and some members of his gang.
“To the glory of God, on 10 June 2017, the police apprehended Evans and his gang members and paraded them before the public on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at the Police Command headquarters, Ikeja. On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, the three of us detained at Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Surulere, for conspiring with Evans and his gang to kidnap Chief Dunu, were taken to Police Command, Ikeja (SARS office) and brought before Evans and his gang for an identification parade. In our presence, the policemen asked Evans and his gang members if they know any of us. They all said that they have never seen us before. In a bid to nail me in particular, they asked Evans to point at the pharmacist that gave him the information about Chief Donatus Dunu and he said, none of us gave him information, that he had not seen any of us before. The police asked the second in command to Evans where they kept Chief Donatus Dunu to point at the pharmacist that used to come there to make calls, and he said that he had not seen any of us before. The police officer told him that one of us said that we know him and he said, if any of us knows him, he should talk and tell him where the person knew him from.”
“After this face-to-face identification, we were asked to go and were taken back to detention at Surulere. On June 16, 2017, we went back to court and our lawyers informed the court about what happened after the hearing of June 6, 2017, but the lawyer who represented the police prosecutor could not confirm if, indeed, we were paraded before Evans and his gang members.
The court then adjourned the matter to June 20, 2017. On the adjourned date, the court after listening to the police lawyer and our lawyers, granted us police bail pending conclusion of police investigation after 40 days of detention.
“I must state that I am still in shock as to how Chief Dunu decided to level such weighty allegations against me. Since I joined his company until the date of his kidnap, I have never had any issues with him. I have never had any case against anybody even throughout my university days not to talk of kidnapping my boss,” he lamented.
Abducted businessman relives ORDEAL in Evans’ den
By Christopher Oji
A businessman, Ndudi Emenike has told the harrowing story of how he fell ill while in the custody of Evans, the kidnapper arrested recently by the police.
Emenike who is the Managing Director of Ngagbaoso Company Limited, recounted that his ordeal began on Saturday, November 4, 2016, when he was abducted at an eatery in Festac Town, Lagos. In his own words, Emenike tells the story of his experience, recalling how he was abducted. Please read on…
Kidnapped at eatery
I had a meeting with my business partner from Port Harcourt at an eatery in Festac Town, Lagos. While I was waiting for my associate, a worker at the eatery announced the number of my car, saying that the owner should re-park as it was blocking another vehicle.
I went out to re-park. As I entered my car, a man appeared from the blues, knocked on my door and showed me a gun. As I was looking at the man, another man entered my car through the back door, and pointed a gun at me and the man standing by my side said I should shift to the passenger’s side which I did. The man behind put a gun on my right ribs and warned that he would blow my ribs open if I misbehaved.
They drove me through Apple Junction and Okota Road. The driver stopped over at a joint where they picked a man, who instructed that I should move to the backseat. I moved to the back seat by squeezing myself through the space between the driver and passenger seats. When I got to the back seat, I was blindfolded. Initially I was thinking they were armed robbers who wanted to use my car for operation, but when they blindfolded me, I understood that I had been kidnapped.
Driven through Okota to kidnappers den
I now started pleading with them that they should take the N100,000 in my car and allow me to go. One of the kidnappers asked where the money was and I told him. One of them said in Igbo that “he is not the person.”
Fear gripped me as I started thinking whether they were assassins. My fear was doused when one of them said, ‘ Even though he is not chief, he can pay some money.’ I said to myself that they were kidnappers. We did not take along when we finally arrived their torture camp. When I went in, the people there were jubilating that chief had finally arrived, but one of those who abducted me told them that they mistook me for chief.
Their master who I suspect may be Evans was angry at them for picking the wrong person. He asked them the type of car that I took to the eatery; they told him it was the same car as that of chief and he asked of the number and they could not say and he asked the time I was abducted and they said 7pm.
Their master got angrier and said he gave them 6pm. He now said they should question me.
Ransom fixed at N5million
It was at that instant that they started asking me too many questions. I lied to them that I was into supply of food items to a secondary school, but that the school had stopped giving me contract. They asked who I would contact to bail me.
I told them that I would not like to contact my wife as she was sick and hypertensive. They asked again who I would like to contact. I told them my father.
They called my father who told them that he had no money. They were demanding for N100million.
They warned that they would waste me if I was not serious. I told them that if they wanted to kill me they should go ahead as I did not have up to N2million in my account and nobody would be willing to lend to me, even if I asked for loan.
They called their master who told them to tell me to pay N5millon or be killed. It was at that instant that they chained my legs and arms and warned that they would beat me if did not change from my evil ways.
As they were warning me, my wife called and they picked the call and asked her to call back later. This time, they told me what I should tell her. She called again and I told her exactly what I was instructed to say.
I told my wife to be calm and don’t let anybody hear what I wanted to tell her. I told her that I had been kidnapped and that she should not involve family members or the Police.
I told her that my abductor had warned that if she involved the police, they would increase the ransom from N5 to N10 million and nothing would happen as the police can’t help me.
They took the phone from me and were mentioning big names of the big guys they kidnapped who involved the police and they fined them by increasing the ransom.
One of them told me that they demanded for N5 million because I was not the real target. He said there was no way they would release me with less than N5 million. I told them that except they were bent on killing me, I had no such money in my account.
I was afraid that my wife might have informed the police. One of them was making mockery of me, calling me a liar. He asked if I was a Christian and I answered in the affirmative. He started saying all sorts of nonsense. He told me that I should be ashamed of myself, that I was lying blatantly.
He said I lied that my wife was sick and hypertensive, yet she spoke normally on phone without betraying any sickness. The idiot said if they blew my head with gun, I would find myself in hellfire. After saying all sorts of despicable things. I responded that I did not tell them that my wife was unconscious, but that she was sick. One of them said I was trying to justify my lies. He asked if I was a Catholic. I replied, no, and he said after my release, I should look for a Catholic priest and say my confession. The idiot said I should not go and confess as they do in Pentecostal churches, that I must do it in a Catholic way.
As he was talking to me, I began to run serious temperature. I had headache, body pains and general body weakness. I told them I was dying and they touched my body and confirmed that I was really sick. They called their master and briefed him. He said they should call doctor. While they were calling the doctor, their master said they should be pouring water on me. As at that time, my wife called and called, but they did not pick her calls. I guess that was when my wife became jittery and told his elder brother who called my phone and one of them picked it and gave him another number they should be calling.
That was when I stopped talking to my wife. They switched off my phone. Now, a man who claimed to be a doctor came but he was speaking Igbo language, taking instruction from another man who I suspected to be Evans. I overheard the ‘doctor’ telling him that it should be high blood pressure. He gave me some drugs. I dosed off and woke up to find myself in my car at Ire Akari Estate, Isolo. I asked people where I was and they told me the place and I called my wife who said she was aware. In less than five minutes she and her elder brother were with me. They took me home and told me how they were asked to change N3million to dollars. Well, we did not report to the police because they warned us not to.
I don’t think the person who treated me was a medical doctor. He might have knowledge of medicine, but he is not a doctor, because he was fidgety and asking too many questions at the same time.
I am so sure that Evans kidnapped me and that I was kept in his camp at Jakande Estate. I read in the social media that some people are saying he should be freed.
It is very wrong. It was because of Evans that my wife had miscarriage. The police should fish out those who are calling for his release. They may have affiliation with the crook. I learnt that an upcoming musician has vowed to engage in killing spree if something should happen to Evans. The person should be fished out to face the law.
Evans: Nigerians divided over wife’s claim
By Olakunle Olafioye
Nigerians have expressed divergent views over the claim of Mrs. Precious Onwuamadike, wife of the arrested billionaire kidnapper, Chukudumeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans that she was not aware that her husband was into kidnapping for ransom.
Evans was apprehended by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team led by Abba Kyari, an assistant commissioner of police on Saturday, June 10, at his residence in Magodo Estate
Prior to his arrest, the police had placed a N30 million bounty on the suspect who has been reeling Nigerians with shocking revelations about his criminal exploits.
But his wife, who has been pleading for mercy on behalf of his husband, has stridently denied having the knowledge that her husband was into kidnapping for ransom.
Reacting to her claim, a United Nation ambassador for Peace and lawyer, Mr. Akintunde Alao described Mrs. Onwuamadike’s claim as an attempt to cover up the shame the issue has brought on her family.
“Evans’ wife’s claim does not have any weight. They have lived together for over ten years and now you are claiming ignorance of what your husband was doing for a living.
“From my own point of view, her claim is just a mere excuse to shield herself from the global shame they have brought upon themselves,” he said.
Akintunde who also made reference to the attempts by the kidnap kingpin to ensure his wife didn’t associate with people, which according to him, was an ostensible ploy to avoid playing into the hands of inquisitive people, insisted that the suspect’s wife had every reason to suspect that her husband had bigger skeleton in his cupboard than she was meant to know.
Also reacting to the issue, the immediate past chairperson and board member of NECA’s Network of Entrepreneur Women, Mrs. Fayo William, said it was possible for Mrs. Onwuamadike to know that her husband was into something illegal if she had used what she termed her ‘sixth’ sense as a woman.
She however pointed out that African tradition and cultural practices which subjugate women were likely to encumbered her from mounting pressure on her husband in getting to know what he was into.
William’s view is partly shared by the Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation, Comrade Ibuchukwu Ezike, who noted that people with tendency to be highly secretive were capable of keeping certain information from their spouses for as long they wanted it to be secrets.
“There are certain individuals that can pretend and deceive people about who they really are. In the afternoon they go out as if they are going for legitimate business especially the highly sophisticated ones whose hideouts hardly attract any form of suspicion from members of the public. They would only tell their wives they were travelling without the wives knowing where they were actually going to.
“If it is possible for men to cheat on their wives without their wives knowing; and women who cheat on the husbands without the men knowing, it is possible for a man who is a kidnapper to keep his wife in the dark as to what he does for a living. It depends on the type of life such people are living. It is possible Evans’ wife was ignorant of her husband’s criminality.
“Having said that it is also possible that the woman is just lying that she didn’t know that her husband was into such criminality particularly if what he claimed he was doing for a living could not justify his lifestyle. The wife ought to have asked questions if she knew that her husband was living beyond his means. And I feel she still needs to answer certain questions to be able to substantiate her claim,”
Similarly, a retired military officer, Col. Adetunji Ajayi maintained that Mrs. Onwuamadike claim’s of ignorance might be true. According to him, it is possible to live with a criminal without getting to know anything about the person.
“In the seed of crime, except the initiates, you may be living together and you will be shielded off certain secrets. I had a personal experience when I was in the military. It is possible for the wife not to know that her husband was a kidnapper.
“High powered crimes are not very flippant like that for everybody to know. We should not take things for granted that the wife must know about it except she was an initiate. Evans was aware that it was much easier for a woman to let the cat out of the bag.
“Criminals are always careful in revealing secrets to their family members. They can shield whatever they are doing and camouflage it in such a way that it will be very difficult for their family members to know. So it could be true that his wife was not aware. But then it is possible that she was aware but she is just pretending,” he pointed out.
In her own reaction, an educationist, Mrs. Josephine Okafor, said Mrs. Onwuamadike’s claim should not be believed, as according to her, there are several pointers to convince her that her husband was a criminal.
“A man married you and forced you to live hermit life that deprived you of not only relating with outsiders but also with your parents and siblings. The man took you far away from home and prevented you from travelling back home regularly yet you felt comfortable and did not suspect any foul play.
“I am very certain that when experienced interrogators confront her with some vital questions all her lies will fall flat,” Mrs. Okafor posited.